Q: Why does the City of Puyallup have to modify council district boundaries?
Redistricting is required by State law as needed following annexations and based on data returned from the U.S. Census. This is because Puyallup is divided into three districts for the purpose of representation on the City Council. There are designated two council member positions for each of the three council districts, and there is one position of council member at-large. (PMC 2.04.070)
Q: What data does the City use for redistricting?
This current redistricting effort is based on data returned from the 2020 Census, which revealed that Puyallup’s three Council districts vary in total population by about 9%, with District 2 having fewer persons than both District 1 and District 3. The goal of this redistricting effort is to redraw the boundaries so that each district is as nearly equal in population as possible to the others. This will entail moving a portion of District 1 into District 2, and also a portion of District 3 into District 2.
Q: What parameters are placed on redistricting efforts?
RCW 29A.76.010 provides basic guidance in requiring that when districts are redrawn, each should:
• Be as compact as possible;
• Be geographically contiguous; and
• Be “as nearly equal in population as possible to each and every other such district...”
The statute further stipulates that population data may not be used for purposes of favoring or disfavoring any racial group or political party, and encourages that district boundaries coincide, where feasible, with “existing recognized natural boundaries” and preserve existing “communities of related and mutual interest."
Q: What has happened thus far, and what is the next step in the process?
The City Council has considered several options for redistricting, and selected one of those to take to public hearing for the community's review and comment. This selection of one option was per State law, which does not allow for presenting more than one redistricting option for public comment. If the option presented is modified following the public hearing, opportunity will be given for written comments on the revised option before it is adopted.
Q: When will the new district boundaries be in place?
The new district boundaries will be in place after the council adopts an ordinance to repeal and reenact PMC 1.04.010, “Precincts and Districts," in accordance with the new district map.
Q: What will be the practical effects of redistricting on those who will be moved from one district to another?
All affected persons will continue to have the same amount of representation on the city council as before. Each council member elected from any one district is elected solely from the qualified voters who live in that district. (The council member at-large is elected from all persons qualified to vote across the city.)
All constituents will maintain the ability to reach out to any members of the council, irrespective of which district someone resides in and which district is represented by a council member.
Q: Does this redistricting plan involve precinct boundaries?
No. Precinct boundaries are determined by the Pierce County Auditor, in accordance with RCW 29A.16. When Puyallup's redistricting of its council districts is complete, the Auditor will use that information to revise precinct boundaries as appropriate.