Neighbors Not Happy With Everett Council District Proposal

August 22, 2020

Everett Government

From the beginning of the discussions on Everett City Council Districts folks in the Delta Neighborhood and the Riverside areas of Everett, Washington expressed a desire to be separate from the Northwest Neighborhood. Based on the proposed map being offered by the Everett Districting Commission that is not the case

City Council districts

Here are the five proposed districts.

Neighbors are now organizing a public opposition campaign to the proposed plan. Here’s one response sent to that outlines the issues with the Districting Commission.

City of Everett “Districting Commission” a sham!

Many of you may not know that some years ago, a group of forwarding thinking citizens worked to change how City Council Members are chosen by the citizens of Everett. A Commission was formed to decide how to form Districts from which future Council Members would be chosen. They were tasked with reviewing data, discussing pertinent issues, gathering public input (more on that later) & choosing a new District Map that would finally give voice to the voiceless.

Sadly, the process is a sham. After reviewing minutes from the earliest meetings, the process was rigged so that Public Forums would be scheduled after the process was finished & final, allowing for no real public input. The notion of how to better engage the public was “tabled” for later discussion, which never happened until the August 3rd meeting of the Commission. Thus, the only way for citizens to voice an opinion was to find the email of one person involved with the Commission on the City’s website. Or be tech savvy enough to log into Facebook & watch the meetings. Being busy, like most people with a full-time job, I find that it is hard to always keep my thumb on what is going on, let alone, check the City’s website on every issue in detail. Most of us rely on publicly announced meetings we can attend to voice our opinions.

Well Good News! The Commission is having 6 Public Hearings in September. Not so fast! According to one Commissioner who spoke at the August 3rd meeting, “At this point I’m not going to be swayed by the number of letters or by the number of folks that turn out at a Public Meeting”. Clearly, there was an agenda to squelch public comment until the last hour so that the Public Forums could be organized at the last moment so that the work of the Commission was finished and there would be little to no public engagement.

The campaign to maintain the status quo whereby the richer neighborhoods have majority representation on the Council, will continue if the proposed District Map A8 is finalized. One Commissioner’s logic that some neighborhoods don’t deserve representation because they outnumber another by 3 to 1 (NW vs Delta) is classic bias, in that although this maybe true, why do some neighborhoods with the fewest residents, garner a higher percentage of public services such as crosswalks, traffic control services, policing attention, park services. Using only raw numbers to justify arguments is not a fair way to consider representation. The Commission should consider the make-up of the population as well, such as, the number of registered voters as opposed to the number of children & immigrants who are ineligible to vote. Unless the Districts are drawn to be more inclusive of neighborhoods that have been historically overlooked, the spending of public services & planning-zoning decisions will continue to be out of balance.

Email your comments about Districting to and ask for an East Everett River District.

Sonja Bodge
Everett, WA

You can see the Draft Plan for Everett City Council Districts here which outlines the rationale behind the plans for each of the five districts.

You can view the most recent City Council District Commission meeting on the YouTube link below.

Here is information on the public meetings coming up next month.

The Commission will be hosting 6 community meetings where the public is invited to provide feedback on the current map. These meetings will take place via Microsoft Teams and we are asking that you RSVP 2-5 days in advance if possible. Please include your name, what meeting you would like to attend and your neighborhood. Each community member will get an opportunity to comment one time to ensure everyone interested gets to speak. MORE INFORMATION TO COME!!

Public Meeting 1: September 10th, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

Public Meeting 2: September 12th, 8:30 – 10:30 am

Public Meeting 3: September 13th, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Public Meeting 4: September 14th, 3:00 – 5:00 pm

Public Meeting 5: September 14th, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Public Meeting 6: September 17th, 5:00 – 7:00 pm

About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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