[Dome] REPORT OF THE TEMPORARY REDISTRICTING ADVISORY COMMISSION
TO THE
GENERAL ASSEMBLY
April 25, 2001

Pursuant to section 42.6 of the 2001 Code of Iowa, the Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission submits this report to the General Assembly regarding the plan for congressional and legislative redistricting submitted by the Legislative Service Bureau to the General Assembly on April 12, 2001.

HEARINGS

The Commission held three public hearings on the plan on April 17, 18 and 19, in Sioux City, Iowa City and Des Moines respectively. The Iowa City hearing was also accessible to the public at Iowa Communications Network satellite sites in Mason City, Dubuque, Spencer, Waterloo, Council Bluffs, Bettendorf and Ottumwa. As required by law, summaries of testimony and information presented at the hearings are attached to and by this reference made a part of this report.

REDISTRICTING STANDARDS

Section 42.4 of the 2001 Code of Iowa states that the following redistricting standards must be met in establishing new congressional and legislative district boundaries:

  1. Districts shall be established on the basis of population and shall each have a population as nearly equal as practicable to the ideal population.
  2. For congressional districts, each district shall be composed of whole counties. For legislative districts, the number of counties and cities divided into more than one district shall be as small as possible.
  3. Districts shall be composed of convenient contiguous territory.
  4. Districts shall be compact in form; however, the first three standards take precedence over compactness.
  5. A district shall not be drawn for the purpose of favoring a political party, incumbent legislator or member of Congress, political party, or other person or group.
  6. Each state representative district shall be wholly included within a single state senatorial district. To the extent possible and consistent with the first five standards, each Senate and House district shall be wholly included within a single Congressional district.
  7. A new districting plan shall not be used prior to the primary election of 2002.

COMMENTS, CONCLUSIONS, AND COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS

The Legislative Service Bureau staff has presented a proposed congressional and legislative redistricting plan to the General Assembly and the Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission has listened to and received testimony presented at three public hearings across the state and via electronic mail.

  1. The Commission hereby unanimously makes the following recommendations concerning congressional and legislative redistricting:
    1. The General Assembly should study ways to require cities to consider adjusting precincts based on substantial population changes. These adjustments should take place in the calendar year prior to the year in which the decennial census is taken, and those adjusted precincts should be used for purposes of legislative redistricting.
    2. To enhance the ability of the public to consider the first proposed redistricting plan prior to commenting on the plan, the Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission public hearings should be held no fewer than 7 days after the release of the first proposed redistricting plan to the General Assembly.
    3. The General Assembly is encouraged to examine whether school districts should be treated as political subdivisions in the legislative redistricting process.
    4. The primary goal in congressional and legislative redistricting is to create districts based on population equality and the other standards enumerated in Iowa Code chapter 42. The Commission received comments from the public urging the consideration of the issues of urban-rural mix of population, areas of economic interest, and historic inter-area connections in creating redistricting plans. However, no objective geographic map-building units exist from the Census Bureau to consider these issues in creating redistricting plans.
    5. Irregular city precinct lines continue to be a concern as expressed in the 1991 report of the Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission.
  2. After three days of informative hearings and careful review of the first proposed redistricting plan, the Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission recommends that the General Assembly reject the first proposed congressional and legislative redistricting plan.

The following members concurred in the Commission's recommendation to reject the first proposed redistricting plan submitted by the Legislative Service Bureau:

The following members did not concur in the Commission's recommendation to reject the first proposed redistricting plan:

Additional comments from Commission members are attached to this report.

SUBMISSION OF REPORT

This report is submitted to the Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives of the General Assembly.

Respectfully Submitted,
MR. ROBERT MALLOY, CHAIRPERSON
MR. LANCE EHMCKE
MS. JO McCARTY
MR. JOSEPH O'HERN
MS. LINDA PRIMMER


ADDITIONAL CONCURRING COMMENTS TO THE TEMPORARY REDISTRICTING ADVISORY COMMISSION REPORT OF APRIL 25, 2001
Submitted by Mr, Lance D, Ehmcke
April 25, 2001

First, after the Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission's Report to the General Assembly was initially prepared for review yesterday in connection with our last public meeting, there was unanimous agreement among the Commission members that comments about our use of the ICN at our public comment hearings should be included. It is included here because of a belief that the listed items in the Commission's report prepared in connection with our last public meeting should not have additions made which were not discussed in the public meeting. The Commission's comment about using the ICN follows.

One of the Commission's public hearings also included connections to ICN sites in seven (7) other cities so that the Commission could conduct a simultaneous interactive hearing at all eight (8) sites. In all respects, this procedure worked exceptionally well. Public participation at all locations for that hearing was impressive. The use of ICN connections greatly enhanced widespread public access to the Commission's public comment hearings. Such arrangements should be used again on future occasions when the Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission holds public comment hearings.

The following additional comments, concurring in the recommendation about the current proposed plan made by the Commission as expressed in its report of April 25, 2001, are from Lance D. Ehmcke, a member of the Commission. They are submitted for inclusion in the report to be submitted to the General Assembly.

Comments from the public at the hearings held by the Commission, as well as my own further review of the proposed First Redistricting Plan, discloses significant concerns about the current proposed plan. In my opinion, the variations in the population contained in the various districts of the current proposed plan, as well as the trend over the last three occasions for redistricting with respect to population variance, are among the more significant factors indicating that the current plan should be rejected. Between the Iowa City and Des Moines hearings, five speakers brought forward the following statistics about the population variance in the current proposed plan and about the results in prior redistricting in 1981 and 1991:

YEARCONGRESSIONALIOWA SENATEIOWA HOUSE
1981.045 percent.78 percent1.78 percent
1991.05 percent1.46 percent1.97 percent
2001.08 percent1.87 percent1.97 percent

Speakers at the public hearings were concerned about the variations themselves, and also about the trend which has been toward greater variation away from the one person, one vote standard which is the goal to be achieved.

All concerned recognize that perfect legislative districts cannot always be created. Chapter 42 of the Code of Iowa contains allowable ranges which represent the minimum standards for population variance in the proposed districts. Congressional districts must be within one percent. Iowa Senate and Iowa House districts must be within five percent. However, the goal is to reach a zero variance, and to work toward variances as close to zero as possible. Additionally, Code of Iowa 42.4(c) provides that if any variance in any district, whether it be Congressional, Iowa Senate or Iowa House, exceeds one percent between the population of a proposed district and the ideal district population, the burden of proof shifts to the General Assembly to justify any variance in excess of one percent, in the event that the plan is challenged in court.

The statistics provided at the hearings show the variance between all the districts ranging from the lowest population district in the plan to the highest population district in the plan. This is not the same as the variation between the individual district and the ideal population number. However, both are concerns. The fact that both the Iowa Senate and Iowa House district population variances are razor edge close to a two percent variance shows how close this proposed plan comes to failing to meet the standard concerning the burden of proof set forth in Code of Iowa, section 42.4(c).

The current proposed plan provides a list of the percent deviation for each proposed district from the ideal population. For the Iowa Senate, we see that percent deviations from the ideal district population reach 93 percent and .95 percent in two instances and there are substantial variations in several of the other proposed Senate districts. For Iowa House, the plan shows percent deviations from the ideal district population of .97 percent, .96 percent, .96 percent, .95 percent, .93 percent, .92 percent, .92 percent and .91 percent in eight of the proposed districts. As is the case with the proposed Iowa Senate districts, there are several more proposed House districts which have high percent variations from the ideal district population. From this we must conclude that on the issue of the one person, one vote population variance, the current proposed plan barely meets the 1.0 percent standard set forth in the Code of Iowa section 42.4(c).

Equally alarming to those who gave comments at the public hearings was the trend in these statistics, Instead of moving toward the goal of achieving the equal representation standard of 0.0 percent, the trend has been for greater variations in the population contained in the proposed districts. There is a relatively substantial jump away from the direction of the goal in the current proposed redistricting plan. One speaker at the Des Moines hearing summarized very well what should be our goal. He encouraged everyone in the redistricting process to seek to reach the very highest and best constitutional standards in order to achieve the one person, one vote primary goal of redistricting. He urged us not to settle for barely making minimum standards but instead strive for the best achievable result.

It was significant to me that those attempting to discount the population variation issue could not show that it did not exist. Both the substantial population variances in this current plan as well as the alarming trend stand unrefuted in the comments from the public received at the hearings. Instead, those seeking to discount or trivialize the one person, one vote standard attempted to translate it into a small number of actual people in an effort to make the problem seem less, but not show that the problem is less. Other speakers said that the census is a "snap shot" of where the population is located at a point in time, and that the population continues to change so we should not be concerned with the variances we see. This argument does not support approval of a plan with increasing population variances. Instead, it emphasizes why it is critical to achieve, or at least strive for, the best possible result on population variance since the district lines will remain frozen for ten years while the location of our Iowa population continues to be fluid. Because population movement is forthcoming, we need to start from the best possible minimum population variance. For those who attempt to discount the population variance issue by translating the statistics into a small number of people, there is only one answer. One person, one vote may not matter to some until it is their own one vote which is being discounted and diluted. We need to remain committed to the principal of one person, one vote. We recognize that districts are not likely to be perfect on the population numbers, but we need to strive to the best achievable result.

Several persons commenting at the public hearings applauded the redistricting effort in Iowa which attempts to be politically neutral. Those speaking to this point seemed to believe that a neutral structural procedure automatically produces a neutral result. However, to declare Iowa redistricting as neutral requires an analysis of both the procedure and the result. The tree is known by its fruit.

Without a doubt, the public comment at the Commission hearings showed that one political party perceives a dramatic advantage in the result of the current proposed redistricting plan. Additionally, to have a highly placed political staff member declare that The plan looks like it was drawn by the U.S. Congressional House Minority Leader, Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri, further suggests at least the perception of a lopsided result, notwithstanding a neutral procedural structure. Newspaper coverage throughout Iowa immediately after release of the current proposed plan added to this perception.

Having a neutral process for redistricting is a legitimate point of pride for Iowa. However, to call a process neutral, the procedure and the result need to be neutral. When the result does not pass the test, the public at large is left with the perception that the process was not neutral despite other appearances, and may not have resulted in a fair outcome. Unlike 1991, when the major political parties believed that they both shared "substantial pain" in the result, indicating that it was neutral, with the current proposed plan this year there is at least a substantial perception that the result is lopsided. I remain convinced that the Legislative Service Bureau followed the law and the correct procedures. I have seen no indication to the contrary. They did a tremendous job and should be commended for their efforts. However, in matters with political impact such as legislative redistricting, public perception can be as important as reality. I agree with those who maintain that a neutral process must have more than merely a neutral procedure. It must have both a neutral procedure and a neutral outcome.

In addition, other comments received raised questions about the design of certain districts. Because of unusual shapes in certain proposed districts, this current proposed plan leaves the perception and the appearance of possible gerrymandering with some of the public. The new proposed Senate District 2 in Council Bluffs and the new proposed Senate District 18 near Des Moines have been noted as illustrations of this concern.

At the public hearings we also heard substantial concern about whether the proposed redistricting plan created districts that made common sense for Iowa. Many speakers believed that business and economic growth should be considered so that entire areas experiencing substantial business growth could be represented by the same elected official to achieve the best legislative focus and impact. Others were concerned about historical inter-area social, business and school connections, indicating that they should be considered when creating legislative districts that make sense for Iowa. Another concern was a strong belief that there needs to be a rural/urban mix in the districts, and particularly in the Congressional districts. Many speakers talked about the need to have our elected representatives continue to be politically invested in rural Iowa as well as in the developing Iowa urban centers so that the "town and country" view is the primary political voice from Iowa. We know that no Iowa city is yet so urban that it truly competes on a national scale regarding public policy with Chicago, Kansas City, Minneapolis etc. The prospect of creating a confrontation within Iowa by districts dominated by one or more urban centers against those which are largely rural is perceived as a recipe for a loss of political effectiveness and overall poor representation for the benefit of Iowa. These concerns clearly dominated the discussion at the public hearings. A desire for this kind of common sense in Iowa redistricting was loud and clear at the hearings, and was also compelling in its presentation.

Our current process does not allow the Legislative Service Bureau to deal with these issues in the redistricting plans they propose. Additionally, there are no objective census data units which address these issues available for the map-making process. On the other hand, taking these factors into consideration is not prohibited by Iowa law. Only the General Assembly has the ability to add this measure of common sense to the redistricting process, which was so strongly expressed at the Commission public hearings.

Finally, I see that in the comments to the report of the Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission ten (10) years ago, submitted on April 30, 1991, a concern about the current statutory procedure was raised. The point raised is that the current procedure does not allow for consideration of alternative redistricting plans for the purpose of selecting the best from among them. Instead, the current procedure allows for only one plan to be brought forward at a time. This concern continues to deserve attention by the General Assembly as a possible statutory change for a better procedure.

Thank you for your review and consideration of these additional, concurring comments.

Respectfully submitted,
Mr. Lance D. Ehmcke, Member
Temporary Redistricting Advisory Committee


MINORITY REPORT SUBMITTED BY GWENDOLYN JO MCCARTY OF THE TEMPORARY REDISTRICING ADVISORY COMMISSION
April 24, 2001

Ms. Gwendolyn Jo McCarty, member of the Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission, submits the following minority report to the General Assembly regarding the legislative and congressional redistricting plan ("Plan") submitted by the Iowa Legislative Service Bureau ("Bureau") to the General Assembly on April 12, 2001.

I commend Diane Bolender, Ed Cook, Gary Rudicil and Jodi Steenhoek of the Bureau for their outstanding work in preparing the proposed Plan. I heartily endorse the Legislature's wisdom and foresight in establishing a structure by which the Bureau, a nonpartisan entity, prepares the initial redistricting Plan. By delegating this task to the Bureau, Iowa avoids political partisanship and the resulting nightmare of gerrymandering.

The proposed Plan prepared in accordance with the U.S. Constitution, the Iowa Constitution, and Iowa Code section 42.4 is truly a model for the rest of the United States. Many times during the public hearings we members of the Commission heard Iowans proudly thank the Bureau and the Legislature for the honorable and nonpartisan manner in which they have gone about the peoples' business of redistricting.

Fortunately, the Iowa Code clearly prescribes the criteria by which such a plan must be prepared, first setting out that districts shall be established on the basis of population and that each district be as nearly equal in population as practicable to the ideal population. The Code makes clear that districts shall not vary in population by more than one percent from the ideal population.

The Bureau has met this standard. They have done a remarkable job basing their analysis on the United States Census Bureau 2000 data which reports the population of Iowa as 2,926,324 making the ideal population for each of Iowa's five Congressional districts 585,265.

This Plan, selected and proposed by the Bureau, has the lowest absolute mean deviation of any of the possible plans examined by the Bureau, i.e. the overall range which compares the most populous Congressional district to the least populous represents only a 483 person variance.

The ideal Senate District has a population of 58,526 and the ideal House District has a population of 29,263. The absolute mean deviation for the Senate is 212.96 (maximum allowable is 585) and for the House 149.32 (maximum allowable is 292). Therefore, with regard to overall population goals, and with the ultimate goal being one of equal representation, this Plan presents a nearly perfect district balance, especially considering the other statutorily mandated criteria, e.g., compactness. The proposed plan has an average length-width compactness of 72.47 miles. In contrast, the compactness in 1991 was 109.93. Obviously, the proposed plan has achieved greater compactness than in 1991 and yet has continued to meet the other requirements as set out in the Code. It is not, as some would like to think, just a question of getting the least possible population with no other statutorily considered criteria. All criteria must be considered and applied as equitably as possible.

During the public hearings, Commission members heard from perhaps a couple hundred individuals, many of whom were there at the request of one political party or another. Their remarks were by and large following scripted "talking points" presenting a political party's particular view of the plan. Generally speaking, the negative comments focused on the following issues: (1) the lack of rural/urban mix; (2) too great a percentage variance in districts; (3) the lack of "historic" connections between counties including the loss of traditional economic connections, (4) incumbency, and (5) the geographic size of the 5th Congressional District.

It is important to note that pursuant to statutory and constitutional requirements, no Plan can take into consideration the addresses of incumbent legislators, nor can any Plan take into account demographic information other than population. Therefore, of the above enumerated issues presented at the public hearings only points #2 and possibly #5 above can be legitimately re-examined. And, to that extent, I reiterate: the population variance in this Plan is already below the 1% variance permitted and is only infinitesimally higher than 1991. The minute increase in variance is primarily a result of creating a map which reflects the current population centers and a map which reflects a greater degree of compactness than in the 1991 map. As for the urban/rural issue, the Plan accurately reflects the 2000 census data which demonstrate a shift in population in Iowa, that is a shift to urban centers and to the eastern portion of the State.

With this Plan, a greater number of counties within senate districts are kept whole (a required standard) than in the 1991 Plan. This effort to preserve the integrity of the county lines holds true for House Districts as well, reflecting an even greater compactness for legislative districts than in 1991.

Like most difficult issues in life, redistricting is truly a case of line drawing. Do we sacrifice the concept of keeping counties whole and contiguous for a fraction of a fraction of a number in an effort to theoretically make the variance 23 people instead of 25 out of a total of over 500,000 people in a district? Do we sacrifice compactness for considerations that are not enumerated in the Code, such as incumbency or the "rural quality" of Iowa life, or "historic" connections between counties? The answer must be "no," we cannot. We cannot legally and we cannot in the name of fair play. Once we travel down the road of looking at purely "political" considerations and then attempt to disguise them under the rubric of something else, we have lost the most important aspect of Iowa's unique method of redistricting: credibility. I urge the General Assembly to adopt this Plan.

Respectfully submitted,
Gwendolyn Jo McCarty


ADDITIONAL COMMENTS FROM JOSEPH O'HERN

As a member of TRAC I have had the opportunity to review the proposed redistricting plan and hear the comments from dozens of Iowans from all across the state.

First of all I would like to thank the staff of the Legislative Service Bureau for their work in this process. Being called on to undertake a task that affects the future of many of those for whom you work is not easy. The Bureau has again approached the job professionally, been guided by the statute and understood that the goal of the process is to provide an equitable framework for Iowa voters. I would also like to thank them for their work with the Commission on conducting the public hearings. I was particularly pleased with the use of the Iowa communications Network (ICN). The ICN allowed the Commission to provide much greater access to people to voice their opinions.

During the hearings we heard a wide variety of opinions both for and against the proposed plan. Many of the positive comments centered around support for the current statute governing redistricting with its population and compactness standards, and the avoidance of gerrymandering. Objections to the proposed plan centered around the population variance, the desire for more blend of urban and rural residents in districts, inclusion of "economic communities" in one district and the size of the proposed fifth congressional district as well as other concerns. It should be noted that many individuals who did not like the proposed plan expressed support for Iowa's process for redistricting.

Objections to population equality should always be examined because of the importance of one person one vote. In this case we are dealing with small numbers, far below the 1% standard in the statute. While the mean deviation in the proposed plan is higher than the deviation in the plan that was adopted in 1991, the difference is minor. If the deviation in the proposed plan equaled 1991, it would be lower by 25 people in a congressional district, 76 people in a senate district and 26 people in a house district. The range for large to small districts compared to 1991 is only higher by 204 in a congressional district, 250 in a senate district and is actually smaller by 1 in a house district.

The desire expressed by some to see a blend of rural and urban residents is not a guide provided by the statute and particularly with legislative districts may conflict with the requirement to keep political subdivisions whole were possible. Isolated townships and a desire to keep more counties intact were reasons cited for rejection of plans in 1981 for example. Keeping political subdivisions intact is as close as the statute comes to considering "economic communities". Here, the proposed plan is an improvement over the 1991 plan in terms of the number of counties and cities kept whole. Also, the comments at the public hearings, as I believe any discussion would be, were contradictory. Some opposed the plan because Linn and Johnson counties are in different congressional districts and others opposed the plan because they wanted Polk and Story counties separated. Finally, the proposed fifth congressional district is large but it reflects the population shifts that have occurred over the past 10 years.

Overall, I find that the plan meets the criteria contained in the statute, improves upon current districts in terms of compactness, increases the number of counties and cities kept whole, and maintains very small population deviations. I therefore urge the adoption of the proposed plan.


SUMMARIES OF TESTIMONY AND INFORMATION PRESENTED TO THE TEMPORARY REDISTRICTING ADVISORY COMMISSION
APRIL 2001

SUMMARY OF THE SIOUX CITY PUBLIC HEARING
ON THE APRIL 12, 2001 REDISTRICTING PLAN
April 17, 2001

The first hearing of the Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission was called to order at 7:03 p.m., Tuesday, April 17, 2001, in the City Council Chambers, 405 6th Street, Sioux City, by Mr. Robert Malloy, Chairperson. Other members of the Commission present were:

Also present were:

Other interested persons were also in attendance.

Chairperson Malloy introduced the Commission members and the Legislative Service Bureau staff to the audience.

Following an introduction of the Legislative Service Bureau staff, Ms. Bolender provided an historical perspective of redistricting in Iowa from the 1960s to the present, as well as a discussion of the overall duties of the Legislative Service Bureau.

Mr. Cook described the criteria used by the Legislative Service Bureau during the redistricting process. He stated that Congressional and legislative districts must be as equal in population as practicable, conveniently contiguous, compact, and no demographic or political data can be considered when creating the districts. Every attempt is made to keep cities and counties with smaller populations entirely within single legislative districts, however, geographic and population constraints do not always allow this. Mr. Cook also discussed the procedures followed by the Legislative Service Bureau when creating the proposed Congressional and legislative districts. Mr. Cook concluded his remarks by describing the process by which the legislature votes on redistricting plans.

The following testimony was received at the Sioux City public hearing:

NAME/ADDRESS/ORGANIZATIONCOMMENTS+/-
Pat Gill/Woodbury County Auditor-Recorder (written remarks provided)The proposed plan is fair for Iowa, Sioux City and Woodbury Co.+
Nancy Streck, Ida Grove, IA/citizen(written remarks provided)The proposed plan does not give rural areas a voice compared to the adopted 1991 plan; 1991 legislative plan had better overall variance; the proposed Congressional district 5 is too large in area and difficult to traverse.-
Maria Rundquist, Sioux City, IA/Republican Latino Coalition(written remarks provided)The proposed Congressional plan creates east Iowa districts that are too powerful and pairs two Congressmen. It eliminates much of the rural-urban blend in districts.-
Dewey Gall/citizenImpressed by Iowa redistricting law and the proposed plan looks good.+
Robert Rice, Sioux City, IA/Woodbury County Republican Party chairmanIt appears there are two urban Congressional districts and three rural districts in the proposed plan, and there should be a better balance in the districts. He wondered why existing districts are not used as a basis for new plans, but said the redistricting process appears to be objective.-
Gene Hill, Sioux City, IA/citizenThe redistricting process in Iowa is commendable. The proposed Congressional district 5 is large in area but is acceptable. Hopes gerrymandering can be relegated to the classroom.+
Janet Olson, Sioux City, IA/citizenThe redistricting process used in Iowa is commendable, and the proposed redistricting plan appears to be good for Sioux City and should be adopted. The plan honors county boundaries.+
Michael Peters, former legislatorProposed House districts 1-3 are good and the plan should be adopted.+
Joel Arends, Sioux City, IA/citizenThe proposed plan does not fully embrace the "one person-one vote" ideal because the Congressional districts have an overall population variance range greater than those in the adopted 1991 plan.-
John Lavelle, Sioux City, IA/citizenThe proposed plan is excellent, it reflects population shifts, and geographic compactness is very good. It is important to start with a clean slate.+
Larry Twait, Sioux City, IA/citizenThe Legislative Service Bureau should be commended for its work on a redistricting plan that also meets the criteria of the Iowa Code. The legislature should approve the plan and remove partisan politics from the process. The census took a snapshot of Iowa one year ago, and that has already changed.+
Tom McMorland, Sioux City, IA/citizenThe proposed plan is fair and should be adopted. Redistricting plans should not be created to protect incumbent legislators.+
Mary Willey, Sioux City, IA/citizenPlan is marvelous and appears to meet the one person-one vote ideal. Using historical patterns can be a pretext for protecting incumbency.+
Norman Newsom, Sioux City, IA/citizenNoted changes in the number of counties in the proposed Congressional district, but took no position on the plan. 

Chairperson Malloy informed the audience that redistricting information can be accessed on the Iowa legislature's website at www.legis.iowa.gov.

There being no additional public comments, the hearing was adjourned at 7:57 p.m. by Chairperson Malloy.


SUMMARY OF THE IOWA CITY PUBLIC HEARING ON THE APRIL 12, 2001 REDISTRICTING PLAN
April 18, 2001

The second hearing of the Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission was called to order at 6:38 p.m., Wednesday, April 18, 2001, in the Iowa City School District Administration Building, 509 South Dubuque Street, Iowa City, by Mr. Robert Malloy, Chairperson. Other members of the Commission present were:

Also present were:

Other interested persons were also in attendance in Iowa City and via the Iowa Communications Network (ICN) at satellite sites in Mason City, Dubuque, Spencer, Waterloo, Council Bluffs, Bettendorf, and Ottumwa.

Chairperson Malloy introduced the Commission members and the Legislative Service Bureau staff to the audience.

Following an introduction of the Legislative Service Bureau staff, Ms. Bolender provided an historical perspective of redistricting in Iowa from the 1960s to the present, as well as a discussion of the overall duties of the Legislative Service Bureau.

Mr. Cook described the criteria used by the Legislative Service Bureau during the redistricting process. He stated that Congressional and legislative districts must be as equal in population as practicable, conveniently contiguous, compact, and no demographic or political data can be considered when creating the districts. Every attempt is made to keep cities and counties with smaller populations entirely within single legislative districts, however, geographic and population constraints do not always allow this. Mr. Cook also discussed the procedures followed by the Legislative Service Bureau when creating the proposed Congressional and legislative districts. Mr. Cook concluded his remarks by describing the process by which the legislature votes on redistricting plans.

The following testimony was received at the Iowa City public hearing:

NAME/ADDRESS/ORGANIZATIONCOMMENTS+/-
Rod Sullivan, Iowa City, IA/citizenThe proposed plan should be accepted. Politics should not be brought into the process. The districts appear compact, and the urban legislative districts make sense. The plan does achieve the goal of one-person-one vote.+
Tim Hagle, Iowa City, IA/citizenThe plan can be improved and should not be adopted. Congressional district deviations are worse than the 1991 plan. Johnson County on the edge of a rural district is not ideal, and the legislative plan's absolute variances are much greater than Congressional plan variances. Senate plan includes Coralville in a western Johnson County rural district and pairs incumbents.-
Rich Phillips, Muscatine, IA/Muscatine County AttorneyHe believes the proposed plan does not consider the urban-rural mix in Iowa, and districts should not concentrate in urban areas. The proposed Congressional district 5 is too large, and it contains no incumbent.-
Margaret McDonald, Iowa City, IA/citizenBelieves incumbents in proposed Congressional district 1 should not be paired.-
Janelle Rettig, Iowa City, IA/citizenMaps of the proposed districts should be more easily accessible. Areas with close economic ties should be allowed to remain in the same Congressional district, such as Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area.-
Eric Rosenthal, Cedar Rapids, IA/citizenOpposes the proposed redistricting plan, and believes the plan aggravates the stress already present between urban and rural legislators. Believes that it is difficult to create the plans in a non-partisan manner and then scrutinize them in a partisan manner.-
Bruce Johnson, Cedar Rapids, IA/citizenHe is concerned that one-third of Iowa is represented by one Congressional district. More equitable representation for rural areas is needed so that more than one Congressman represents western Iowa.-
Ed Failor, Jr., Muscatine, IA/citizenHe believes the proposed redistricting plan was not created in a non-partisan manner. Also, a large western Iowa Congressional district is not compact. The one-person-one vote ideal is not achieved because district variances are not as good as in the current districts.-
Merlin Hulse, Cedar County/former state SenatorOpposes the redistricting plan and believes that the 2000 census was not accurate in some areas. There are too many open districts in the proposed legislative plan.-
Guy Geinzer, Cedar Rapids/citizenRapidly growing areas have not been equally represented the last ten years. Census is taken at a moment in time. Less attention should be paid to rural areas, and the redistricting plan should take into account the economic interests between Linn and Johnson counties. 
Bob Welsh, Iowa City, IA/citizenThe proposed legislative plan is not acceptable because it pairs Senator Dvorsky with two other incumbents, but the legislature should approve the plan because it was created in a non-partisan manner.+
Sarah Kobliska, Marion, IA/citizenThe proposed plan district variances are too great, and she is concerned by the division of school districts in Linn County into more than one legislative district. She believes that population variances were overlooked in order to keep political subdivisions whole.-
Tracy Strange, Cedar Rapids, IA/citizenVoter representation is overlooked for geographic compactness, and the plan should be opposed.-
Holley Eggelston, Cedar Rapids, IA/citizenWestern Iowa will not have a voice because the proposed Congressional district 5 is too large.-
Amanda Ragan, Mason City, IA/citizenThe plan is fair.+
De Byerly, Mason City, IA/citizenOne Congressman should not represent one-third of Iowa, and variances should be closer to zero.-
Jim Nelson, Britt, IA/citizenCongressional districts 3 and 5 are too large in area, and Congressional district 1 should not pair two incumbents. There should be more of an urban-rural blend in districts.-
Werner Hellmer, Dubuque, IA/citizenThe proposed plan sacrifices voter representation for geographic compactness. Congressional district 5 is too large in area, and the plan has created two economic areas of interest in Des Moines-Ames and Cedar Rapids-Dubuque-Davenport.-
Grant Veeder, Waterloo, IA/citizenThe proposed districts are representative of the population of the state, and supports the proposed plan.+
Leon Mosley, Waterloo, IA/citizenThere are too many counties in proposed Congressional district 5. He believes there should be an urban-rural mix in the districts. The population variances are too high.-
Russ Knoll, Cedar Falls, IA/citizenNoted that two proposed Congressional districts contain just seven and nine counties, and Congressional districts 3 and 5 are too large in area. There should be an urban-rural mix in districts.-
Bob Krause, Waterloo, IA/former Iowa RepresentativeBelieves that going past the first proposed plan introduces the possibility of gerrymandering. Geographic compactness cannot be omitted from consideration. The plan is fair and should be passed.+
Jason Hutcheson, Cedar Falls, IA/citizenApplauds non-partisan drawing of plan. Two influential incumbent Congressmen should not be paired, and opposes adoption of the plan.-
Al Schafbuch, Benton County/citizenProposed western Congressional district is too large in area. Not enough of an urban-rural mix in districts. The proposed plan appears partisan in nature, and should be defeated.-
Mary Gaskill, Ottumwa, IA/citizenFavors plan because it is fair and follows statutory guidelines. Noted that current Congressional district 3 is as sprawling as proposed Congressional district 5. Creates competitive districts across Iowa.+
Lisa Smith, Ottumwa, IA/citizenAll Iowans should have equal representation in Congress, and the proposed districts should have less variance than the current districts. Districts in urban areas should be more evenly mixed with rural areas.-
Gregg Steensland, Council Bluffs, IA/citizenThe proposed Congressional district 5 is more compatible with the western Iowa area than the current Congressional district 4. The plan is fair and created in a non-partisan manner, and should be adopted in a non-partisan manner.+
Rick Keith, Aurelia, IA/citizenDoes not support the proposed Congressional districts.-
Loras Schulte, Norway, IA/citizenThe overall district variance is too large, and there will be a confrontation between urban and rural areas with the proposed plans. Even though the plan is created in a non-partisan manner, it does not appear non-partisan. He noted Linn and Johnson Counties are in different proposed Congressional districts. The plan should not be adopted.-
Allen Bohanan, West Branch, IA/citizenWest Branch is located in two Congressional districts in the proposed plan, but believes the plan is fair and districts are more compact than current legislative districts. The plan should be adopted.+
Pat Jensen, Iowa City, IA/President, Johnson County League of Women VotersNoted that redistricting plans are developed without partisan input as in other states, and the proposed districts all meet the 1% variance guidelines. Plan meets statutory guidelines and should be adopted.+
Laura Kamienski, Iowa City, IA/citizenA non-partisan process does not imply a non-partisan outcome, and the plan should not be adopted. Economic interests should also be considered during the redistricting process.-
Todd Versteegh, Iowa City, IA/citizenOpposes the plan, and is concerned with the combination urban-rural districts in the proposed plan, because they are heavily weighted to urban areas.-
Hyman Joseph, Iowa City, IA/citizenProposed Congressional district variances are very small given that they must follow county boundaries, and supports the plan.+
Tom Slockett, Iowa City, IA/citizenReal issue is whether a non-partisan agency should draw the redistricting plans. He noted that the proposed Congressional district variances are insignificant. Given the charge, the plan is fair and should be adopted.+
Susan Pampirin, Davenport, IA/citizenAny plan will cause election upsets to the party in power, but does not believe a second redistricting plan would create anything different. Supports adoption of plan. Strong candidates will survive.+
Glen Sailsbury, Dysart, IA/citizenSupports passage of the proposed redistricting plan. However, had some concerns about the variances. 
Russ Knoll, Cedar Falls, IA/citizenProposed districts should provide a balance between urban and rural populations, and opposes the plan.-
Frank Sage, Waterloo, IA/citizenCongressional districts could be more compact, and opposes the plan.-

Chairperson Malloy thanked the ICN technicians for their assistance in the broadcast of the hearing. The hearing was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

SUMMARY OF THE DES MOINES PUBLIC HEARING ON THE APRIL 12, 2001 REDISTRICTING PLAN
April 19, 2001

The third hearing of the Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission was called to order at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, April 19, 2001, in the Wallace State Office Building Auditorium, 502 East 9th Street, Des Moines, by Mr. Robert Malloy, Chairperson. Other members of the Commission present were:

Also present were:

Other interested persons were also in attendance.

Chairperson Malloy introduced the Commission members to the audience.

Following an introduction of the Legislative Service Bureau staff, Ms. Bolender provided an historical perspective of redistricting in Iowa from the 1960s to the present, as well as a discussion of the overall duties of the Legislative Service Bureau.

Mr. Cook described the criteria used by the Legislative Service Bureau during the redistricting process. He stated that both Congressional and legislative districts must be as equal in population as practicable, conveniently contiguous, compact, and no demographic or political data can be considered when creating the districts. Every attempt is made to keep cities and counties with smaller populations entirely within single legislative districts, however, geographic and population constraints do not always allow this. Mr. Cook also discussed the procedures followed by the Legislative Service Bureau when creating the proposed Congressional and legislative districts. Mr. Cook concluded his remarks by describing the process by which the legislature votes on redistricting plans.

The following testimony was received at the Des Moines public hearing:

NAME/ADDRESS/ORGANIZATIONCOMMENTS+/-
Alan Fisher, Des Moines, IA/citizenThe plan is good and should be adopted. No matter what plan is proposed, incumbents will be paired into new districts.+
Arlyn Hodson, Des Moines, IA/citizenThe plan is good and the legislature should approve it.+
Peter Rogers, Marshalltown, IA/citizenThe Congressional districts are not compact, especially district 5 is too large in area. Districts 3 and 5 have too much of Iowa's population. District 5 is too rural, and therefore poor balance between urban and rural population mix. The population variances in the Congressional plan are too large compared to 1981 and 1991 districts. Some Senate and House districts are not compact or conveniently contiguous.-
David Lord, Perry, IA/former state RepresentativeThe proposed plan pits urban against the rural interests. Congressional district 5 is too rural, and Polk County should be included with more rural counties. Legislative districts should also have an urban and rural mix of population. The Senate district variances are too large. The concept of one-person-one vote is lacking in the plan.-
Mitch Hambleton, Dallas Center, IA/citizenProposed House district 39 appears like two islands joined together. The mix of part of Dallas and all of Greene Counties does provide an urban-rural mix of population, but a legislator may find it difficult to serve in this district. Opposes adoption of the plan.-
Steve Scheffler, West Des Moines, IA/citizenProposed Congressional plan pairs two influential incumbents. The economic corridor between Warren and Polk Counties is missing in the proposed Congressional plan, as is the corridor between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. Opposes adoption of the plan.-
Michael Kennedy, Des Moines, IA/citizenThe proposed Congressional plan is radically different from existing districts, and there should be a more equitable blend of urban and rural centers of population. He agreed with statements made by Arlyn Hodson and David Lord, and opposes the plan.-
Ben Schultz, Des Moines, IA/citizenOpposes the plan because the population variances in the proposed Congressional and Senate districts have increased since 1981. The current plan is a good start, but should be revised to achieve better population variances. Proposed districts should achieve better population variances than existing districts. An urban and rural mix of population within districts is needed.-
Merle Fleming, Des Moines, IA/League of Women Voters of IowaThe plan is good because it meets the statutory requirements for redistricting. Believes it is probably more difficult for legislators to represent districts with large urban-rural mixes in population.+
Sandra Jaques, Dallas Center, IA/citizenOpposes the plan because the Congressional and Senate district variances are greater than in the existing districts. The urban-rural balance of population in districts is important. Districts should look similar to existing districts, if possible. The plan that is adopted will be in place for ten years.-
Ron Granzow, Des Moines, IA/citizenOpposes the plan because it does not provide an urban and rural mix of population in many districts, such as in the proposed 5th Congressional district.-
Susan Glick, Indianola, IA/citizenNoted that although the current 3rd Congressional district is very stretched out, the proposed 5th Congressional district is also too large. The 4th Congressional district should be changed to provide an urban and rural mix of population. Number of counties in each Congressional district should be more equitable. It is difficult for candidates to run from such a large district. Warren County is too cut up in the Senate and House districts.-
Max Knauer, Des Moines, IA/citizenThe disparity in district population variances in the proposed districts is minimal. Noted that North Dakota has one Congressman for the entire state, so any of the proposed Iowa Congressional districts should be easier to represent. Redistricting creates opportunities for new legislators.+
Wanda Sears, Des Moines, IA/citizenOpposes the proposed plan because the districts should have an urban and rural mix of population. The proposed 5th Congressional district is too large in area.-
James Davis, West Des Moines, IA/citizenOpposes the proposed plan because Senate district variances are too great.-
Ted Sporer, Des Moines, IA/citizenThe degree of precision required in the task of redistricting is great. Opposes the plan because the variances in the proposed Congressional districts have nearly doubled since the districts in effect in the 1980s.-
Ed Rethman, Adel, IA/citizenFavors the proposed plan. Commends Iowa's approach to redistricting. Iowa's population is moving form rural to urban areas, and new districts should reflect that shift.+
John Revak, Des Moines, IA/citizenOpposes the plan due to the lack of an urban-rural population mix in the proposed Congressional districts. The proposed 5th Congressional district is too large in area. Feared that candidates in proposed districts could win by only carrying large city areas.-
Joe Enriquez Henry, Des Moines, IA/citizenFavors the proposed plan because it is fair and balanced, and neither party gains a political advantage.+
Mary Goodwin, Ames, IA/citizenFavors the proposed plan because it is fair. Believes opposition to the plan is political in nature.+
Joanne Fischer, Des Moines, IA/citizenPolk County is the only urban county in the current 4th Congressional district. Noted that low population counties within the current 4th Congressional district feel they don't have a voice. She favors the proposed plan.+
Maria Campos, Des Moines, IA/citizenThe proposed plan meets all legal requirements and is fair. Keep politics out of the redistricting process. The plan meets one-person-one vote guidelines.+

Chairperson Malloy informed the audience that all comments provided at the public hearings will be taken into consideration.

Mr. Ehmcke noted that the Commission will now review all comments and make a report to the legislature.

In response to a question from the audience, Chairperson Malloy stated that all points of view regarding the proposed redistricting plan were heard at the public hearings. The hearing was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

SUMMARY OF WRITTEN TESTIMONY RECEIVED BY THE LEGISLATIVE SERVICE BUREAU ON THE APRIL 12, 2001 REDISTRICTING PLAN

The Legislative Service Bureau received written testimony regarding the proposed redistricting plan from the following persons who did not give an oral presentation at the public hearings:

NAME/ADDRESS/ORGANIZATIONCOMMENTS+/-
Tim Reilly, Cedar Falls, IA/citizenImpressed with the proposed redistricting plan report and the time and effort to produce it.+
Sharon Taylor, Castana, IA/citizenThe proposed plan favors the Democratic party and eastern Iowa.-
Paul Bass, Council Bluffs, IA/citizenThe single precinct of Council Bluffs should not be included in rural Senate district 1 and House district 2.-
Tim Foix, Sioux City, IA/citizenThe proposed plan is well-designed and should be approved by the legislature.+
Jerry Huffman, Creston, IA/citizenThe proposed plan is fair and should be accepted.+
Willis Anson, Camanche, IA/citizenThe proposed plan is fair and equitable and should be accepted.+
Bruce Johnson, Cedar Rapids, IA/citizenThe proposed Congressional and Senate districts have a greater overall population variance than the adopted 1991 Congressional and Senate districts. The proposed plan should not be adopted.-
Don Smith, Grinnell, IA/citizenIowa's redistricting process is a model for the nation, and the proposed redistricting plan is fair and should be enacted.+
Kim Motl, Fort Dodge, IA/citizenThe plan is fair to both political parties and should be adopted.+
Terry Lowman, Ames, IA/citizenThe proposed plan should be adopted because rejection would be an attack on the redistricting process in Iowa.+
Phil Wieseler, Sioux City, IA/citizenMore information and educational material regarding the proposed redistricting plans should have been made available at the public hearings. No position given on the proposed plan. 

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