EVERETT — Just two years after taking shape, the maps for all five Everett City Council districts could slightly shift.
U.S. Census data prompted an update to the boundaries first approved in 2020.
Every district gained people. Everett’s population is over 110,626, a growth of more than 7,600 from the past decade, in the latest tally.
The highest population growth was 2,638 people in District 4’s Westmont, Holly, Cascade View and Twin Creeks neighborhoods. District 1, which spans the Northwest, Delta, Riverside and Bayside neighborhoods, had the smallest increase with only five more residents.
“If you’ve walked around the city, we’ve grown,” Everett Districting Commission chairperson Leah Airt said during a presentation earlier this week.
The commission is gathering feedback on the map proposal at community meetings in each district this month. The final three are planned this week:
• 5 to 6 p.m. Sunday at Kasch Park in the picnic shelter, 8811 Airport Road.
• 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday at Thornton A. Sullivan Park in the picnic shelter, 11405 Silver Lake Road.
• 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. Tuesday on the fourth floor of Everett Station, 3201 Smith Ave., which also can be joined online via a Zoom meeting.
Where people live shifted from the last Census in 2010, districting master Bob Schweitzer of Sammamish Data Systems told the commission in June. Schweitzer’s map proposes four “small tweaks” toward an average of 22,125 people in each district.
• District 1’s southwest boundary would move south to Hewitt Avenue, eating into the current District 2 (Bayside, Riverside, Port Gardner, Glacier View, Lowell, Pinehurst-Beverly Park, South Forest Park and Valley View).
• District 2 would expand southwest into part of the Pinehurst-Beverly Park neighborhood that’s now in District 5 (Pinehurst-Beverly Park, Cascade View, Twin Creeks and Silver Lake).
• District 3’s northeast boundary (Boulevard Bluffs, Harborview-Seahurst-Glenhaven, View Ridge-Madison and Evergreen) would add part of the South Forest Park neighborhood currently in District 2.
• District 5 would gain some of the Cascade View neighborhood now in District 4.
Each change was done based on precinct-level population data. The deviation range is within 3%.
“I was looking to see what are the best numbers I can do with whole precincts,” Schweitzer told The Daily Herald.
District 2 would be the smallest with 21,500 residents. District 1 would be the largest with 22,708 people.
“We’re not really changing the makeup of any of the districts,” Schweitzer told the commission in July.
Voter turnout was lower in Districts 4 and 5 than the other districts in the last council election in November 2021, according to precinct-level data from the Snohomish County’s Auditor’s Office.
District 4 had around 3,000 fewer registered voters. Only about 22% of ballots were cast in that race.
About 27% of registered District 5 voters turned in ballots.
But the original districting commission looked at voting age population, not the total of registered voters. That made the districts more comparable.
District 4’s population had the most Black and Hispanic residents in the latest Census data. But all districts’ populations are majority white.
Laws require districts to be nearly equal in population size, protect minority voting strength, be compact and contiguous, and keep communities of interest intact.
It’s one reason some Delta neighborhood residents called for a “river” district that ran east of Broadway from Everett’s northern limit through the Lowell neighborhood. The previous commission voted against it.
Some Delta residents continued to call for redoing at least District 1 at the map proposal presentation Sunday. They asked to split Delta, Lowell and Riverside from the more affluent Northwest and Bayside neighborhoods west of Broadway.
The commission considered minor changes instead of redoing the map, in light of districts still being new and having had only one council election with them in place, said Nichole Webber, Everett’s director of engagement and the commission’s staff liaison, in an interview with The Daily Herald.
“We decided small moves, unless the data said otherwise,” Airt said.
Everett voters in 2018 split the seven council seats into two at-large positions and five districts. It created opportunities for more geographic representation after a long history of City Council members coming from the Northwest neighborhood.
The city’s first district-based council elections were last year and ushered in a wave of first-time elected office holders.
“Districts have already in my opinion proven to be effective in bringing more voices to the table,” Webber said.
Written comments on the proposed map can be submitted to Webber at firstname.lastname@example.org or dictated to her at 425-257-7112. Translation services can be made available upon request.
The districting commission will forward a recommendation to the council this fall, which has to approve it as presented by Nov. 1.
The next redistricting commission won’t convene for another 10 years after the next federal census.
Ben Watanabe: 425-339-3037; email@example.com; Twitter: @benwatanabe.
Talk to us
- You can tell us about news and ask us about our journalism by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 425-339-3428.
- If you have an opinion you wish to share for publication, send a letter to the editor to email@example.com or by regular mail to The Daily Herald, Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206.
- More contact information is here.