UPDATE: Tuesday night the Anchorage Assembly approved a reapportionment plan wherein Downtown Anchorage remains the only district with one assemblymember.
ANCHORAGE – In the midst of a busy election year, redistricting in Anchorage didn’t get much public attention.
Assembly members said it’s unfair to move forward with redrawing city lines without getting public input.
“I think [the city is] more in the dark because everybody has been involved in the state and national election and the municipal budget, and I think it just sort of went under the radar,” said Mary Rasmussen.
Rasmussen said she has watched the city change in the 35 years she has lived here. “Local government is what mostly affects our lives, and if we are going to change our representation then I think you ought to hear what the people want.”
And Anchorage Assembly member Paul Honeman couldn’t agree more. “We should give a lot more public input into the process if we are going to do this,” said Honeman. “Not just redrawing the lines behind closed doors with a committee of three.”
In July the assembly declared itself malapportioned, meaning parts of the city are not being equally represented – places like Downtown Anchorage.
“Two weeks ago tonight [Tuesday] we laid four options on the table,” said Honeman. “Really two of which would shift the single member district from Downtown as it has been for the last four decades and shifting either Midtown or East Anchorage.”
He said at the end of the day though, it’s about the people.
“The only connection between you and your city is your assemblyman,” said Anchorage resident David Nees.