City of Sunnyside
Notice of Public Meeting to Present City Council Electoral Districts Redistricting
Description of Proposal: The City of Sunnyside is redrawing the City Council Electoral Districts. This is a requirement of State law that is based on the population data that is gathered from the decennial Federal Census.
A public meeting is scheduled on Thursday, November 3rd, 2022 at 6:00 pm at the Sunnyside City Council Chambers, located at the Law & Justice Center, 401 Homer Street, Sunnyside, WA 98944.
If you have any questions on this proposal, please call Byron Gumz, Yakima Valley Conference of Governments (YVCOG) Regional Land Use Manager, at (509) 759-7994.
Dated this 19th day of October 2022
Sunnyside Sun Publish Date: October 26, 2022
Q: Why does the City of Sunnyside have to modify council district boundaries?
Redistricting is required by State law as needed following annexations and based on data returned from the 2020 U.S. Census. Sunnyside is divided into four districts for the purpose of representation on the City Council. There is one council member elected from each district, with three council members elected at large. When the new population data is compiled, there are often changes in the distribution of people living in each district, and the goal is to ensure that each district has an even number of citizens as possible.
Q: What data does Sunnyside use for redistricting?
This current redistricting effort is based on data returned from the 2020 Census. The census has shown that the distribution of Sunnyside’s population has changed since the districts were last drawn. 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 has resulted in changes to all four Council Districts. The map shown in Figure XX illustrates those changes.
Q: What are the redistricting requirements?
RCW 29A.76.010 provides basic guidance in requiring that when districts are redrawn, each should:
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 so far, and what is the next step in the process?
The City Council has identified the location of the proposed districts for the community's review and comment. This selection of one option as per State law does not allow for presenting more than one redistricting option for public comment. If the option presented is modified following the public hearing, the 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 accepting the new boundaries and related descriptions of those boundaries in Sunnyside Municipal Code (SMC) Title 1.10.
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. (Council members-at-large are 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.