Some Kansas City metro lawmakers not happy with Kansas congressional redistricting map

Some Kansas City metro lawmakers not happy with Kansas congressional redistricting map
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Kansas House lawmakers debated a new congressional district map for four hours Tuesday. The House will take final action on the redistricting plan Wednesday morning.But some Kansas City-area state lawmakers are against it.All the districts have to have equal populations because of shrinking populations in western Kansas and growing populations in and around the metro. The districts must be redrawn. During the bill hearing Tuesday, state Rep. Chris Croft, chair of the Kansas House Redistricting Committee, said each of Kansas’ four districts must represent 737,490 people.Cars go in and out of Johnson and Wyandotte counties all day and night. The populations share a lot more than just roads. They share people who cross county lines to work, federal tax dollars to fund buses and a congressional representative in Washington.In the map drawn by the courts in 2012, Wyandotte and Johnson counties were combined. In the map just approved by lawmakers in Topeka, they won’t. Wyandotte County will be divided into two districts by Interstate 70. Johnson County will bein the 3rd District that includes Anderson County (population 7,836 per the US Census in April 2020), Franklin County (population 25,996), and Miami County (population 34,191). See a full chart of the comparison here.”The people elect the legislators. The legislators don’t elect the people. You don’t choose your electorate,” said Tom Alonzo, of Equity Kansas.”We are metropolitan, suburban, urban counties where Anderson and Franklin are agriculture farming communities — very different economic interests,” said Becky Fast, a Johnson County Commissioner.Metro leaders fear their voices won’t get heard. Those who drew the maps argue each district has to have the same population.”This is math. You look at it, there’s many different ways to look at the problem and the solution, and this is just one of those ways,” Croft said.So whether it’s a math problem or a geography problem, there’s no easy solution.The city of Lawrence, just the city, moves into the 1st District, which stretches all the way to Colorado. But that’s because Lawrence has roughly 95,000 people in it. That’s the same as 26 western Kansas counties combined. The Kansas House took a preliminary voice vote Tuesday afternoon. It will do a recorded vote on Wednesday at 11 a.m. House Minority Whip Stephanie Clayton told KMBC that if there are 84 or more votes in favor of the map, it is veto-proof. However, she said she does believe the courts won’t allow it to stand because the districts separate communities of shared interest, and she said the process has not been transparent.

Kansas House lawmakers debated a new congressional district map for four hours Tuesday. The House will take final action on the redistricting plan Wednesday morning.

But some Kansas City-area state lawmakers are against it.

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All the districts have to have equal populations because of shrinking populations in western Kansas and growing populations in and around the metro. The districts must be redrawn. During the bill hearing Tuesday, state Rep. Chris Croft, chair of the Kansas House Redistricting Committee, said each of Kansas’ four districts must represent 737,490 people.

Cars go in and out of Johnson and Wyandotte counties all day and night. The populations share a lot more than just roads. They share people who cross county lines to work, federal tax dollars to fund buses and a congressional representative in Washington.

In the map drawn by the courts in 2012, Wyandotte and Johnson counties were combined. In the map just approved by lawmakers in Topeka, they won’t.

Wyandotte County will be divided into two districts by Interstate 70. Johnson County will bein the 3rd District that includes Anderson County (population 7,836 per the US Census in April 2020), Franklin County (population 25,996), and Miami County (population 34,191). See a full chart of the comparison here.

“The people elect the legislators. The legislators don’t elect the people. You don’t choose your electorate,” said Tom Alonzo, of Equity Kansas.

proposed kansas congressional map

“We are metropolitan, suburban, urban counties where Anderson and Franklin are agriculture farming communities — very different economic interests,” said Becky Fast, a Johnson County Commissioner.

Metro leaders fear their voices won’t get heard. Those who drew the maps argue each district has to have the same population.

“This is math. You look at it, there’s many different ways to look at the problem and the solution, and this is just one of those ways,” Croft said.

So whether it’s a math problem or a geography problem, there’s no easy solution.

The city of Lawrence, just the city, moves into the 1st District, which stretches all the way to Colorado. But that’s because Lawrence has roughly 95,000 people in it. That’s the same as 26 western Kansas counties combined.

The Kansas House took a preliminary voice vote Tuesday afternoon. It will do a recorded vote on Wednesday at 11 a.m.

House Minority Whip Stephanie Clayton told KMBC that if there are 84 or more votes in favor of the map, it is veto-proof. However, she said she does believe the courts won’t allow it to stand because the districts separate communities of shared interest, and she said the process has not been transparent.

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