How Redistricting by Feb 15 May Change SD49

Anderson_Redistricting_Plan.jpgBy law, Minnesota should reset its legislative district boundaries in 2022 to take into account population shifts identified in the 2020 census. The intent is to more equally align the number of voters in each MN House district, so each legislator represents roughly the same number of citizens.

As we reported in our last newsletter, redistricting is supposed to be under the purview of the state legislature. Due to political divisions between the DFL-led House and GOP-led Senate, it is not likely the chambers will come to an agreement. Previously, the courts have determined the 201 newly drawn district lines in 2010, 2000 and 1990. Should legislative agreement be lacking this year, the courts are expected to provide its version of district lines on February 15 or shortly thereafter.

The Minnesota Supreme Court appointed a special redistricting panel of five judges to hear and decide challenges to four redistricting plans that have been submitted for their consideration. The judicial panel may accept one of the submitted maps or decide to draw its own maps, so it is not possible to say at this time precisely how Senate District 49 will be impacted by redistricting.

However, if the four submitted plans are any indication, it appears likely that many of the district lines in the southwestern metro will be redrawn. The plans divide up Senate District 49 into three (3) to five (5) pieces for reallocation.

An example is the redistricting proposals of the Anderson Plan, which was brought forward by several Minnesota Republicans. This plan (picture at top) would
• combine northwest Edina with Hopkins and Minnetonka (the new SD47);
• link the Eden Prairie and Minnetonka precincts now in SD49 with Eden Prairie and Chanhassen (the new SD49);
• combine southern and eastern Edina with Richfield and a sliver of northern Bloomington (the new SD50);
• combine the rest of Bloomington (the new SD51)

Our Senate District leaders will need to start planning now for the potential impacts of redistricting.  The newly created districts will have one month or less after the final plan is issued to work out such things as arranging a senate district convention, drafting new bylaws, and vetting candidates for senate district chairs and executive officers.

Sachs_Redistricting_plan.jpgSachs Plan (DFL) reflect inputs from the other major political party. This plan has dramatic shifts in both the congressional and legislative district boundaries. 

As far as SD49 is concerned, the Sachs Plan would:

  • reallocate our Minnetonka and Eden Prairie precincts to Eden Prairie (the new SD50)
  •  combine northwestern Bloomington and south and eastern Edina with the southeastern part of St Louis Park (the new SD57)
  • combine Richfield and central Bloomington (the new SD58)

it would also add the southcentral and eastern-most precincts of Bloomington (not SD49 currently) to precincts in north Burnsville and northwestern Eagan to form the new SD44.

The supporters of this DFL plan made a big push to move Bloomington into CD2. They argued that Bloomington has a lot in common with other "South Metro" communities (Eagan, Burnsville, etc.). They made it a major issue in their plan, in their testimony, and during oral arguments. The result would be to make CD2 more DFL-friendly in an attempt to shore up Angie Craig. 

Likewise, the state Legislative plan created by the Sachs group also united Bloomington with Eagan and Burnsville. That plan described the new SD44 as including
.. portions of Hennepin and Dakota Counties, encompassing the portions of Bloomington, Burnsville, and Eagan that share the Minnesota River corridor from Highway 169 to Interstate 494...The Minnesota River divides the house districts, with Bloomington included in northern House District 44A and portions of Burnsville and Eagan included in southern 44B."

Corrie_Redistricting_Plan.jpgThe Corrie Plan would
• Cede our Eden Prairie precinct to Eden Prairie and Chanhassen (the new SD48)
• Combine our Minnetonka precincts to Minnetonka and Wayzata (the new SD49)
• Cede Edina P-01A to Hopkins and parts of Minnetonka and St Louis Park (the new SD51
• Increase our number of Bloomington precincts but carve out parts of northwestern and northeastern Edina (the new SD52)
• Cede parts or all of Edina Precincts 03, 04, 08, 09, and 14 to southeast Minneapolis (the new SD59)

Backers of the Corrie Plan (BIPOC) and Sachs Plan (DFL) argued that the demographic changes in Minnesota should lead the panel to moving from a "least changes" approach, emphasized by the judicial panel, towards elevating communities of interest, and emphasized the creation of more minority opportunity districts.

Wattson_Redistricting_Plan.jpgSupporters of the fourth submittal, called the Wattson Plan, include the League of Women Voters. They have attempted to play the middle ground as a "nonpartisan" group. They provided a detailed breakdown of specific districts, and defended why they used current precinct lines and partisan data to draw their maps despite the Panel order not to do so.

The Wattson Plan would:

• combine all of Edina and our Eden Prairie and Minnetonka precincts with the northern part of Eden Prairie out to Chanhassen (the new SD42);
• combine west Bloomington with south Eden Prairie (the new SD43);
• link eastern Bloomington with Richfield and the area around MSP Airport (the new SD44)