Search
  • Rep. Candice Pierucci

Redistricting


As a member of the 2021 Legislative Redistricting Committee it was truly a privilege to be able to go around the state, visiting with residents of local communities to gather their feedback and thoughts on the map making process and what boundary lines they would like to see. Overall, we hosted twenty-three committee meetings, with over half of those meetings being held all over Utah.


We live in a beautiful state, with a rich heritage and great people. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet so many new people and learn more about the communities across our state. I wanted to give you a report back on the redistricting process and the final maps adopted.


Background

Every ten years, the Legislature is constitutionally required to redraw district boundaries to reflect population changes in the most recent population data from the U.S. Census Bureau. As a member of the Legislative Redistricting Committee, we visited every corner and region of the state, listened to the feedback, desires, and concerns of Utahns, and worked tirelessly to draw maps that create fair boundaries that reflect the principle of “one person, one vote.”


Article IX of the Utah Constitution says “the Legislature shall divide the state into congressional, legislative, and other districts.” As such, twenty members of the legislature from every region of the state, myself included, were assembled to make up this committee. As a member of the committee, I had the pleasure of visiting Vernal, Moab, Price, Park City, Clearfield, St. George, Cedar City, Ogden, Logan, Orem, Rose Park, Richfield, and Salt Lake City to listen to Utahns on what was most important to them and how they would like to see the maps drawn.


The Utah Independent Redistricting Commission worked on a parallel path of the Legislative Redistricting Committee with a similar end goal. Thousands of hours were worked by both groups, however, the process and results of the two groups differed in more ways than one.

  • The Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) was made up of seven members, five of which were partisanly appointed and most reside along the Wasatch Front. The Legislative Redistricting Committee (LRC) was made up of 20 elected officials, from every region of the state and both political parties.

  • The IRC did not acknowledge current representation elected through the democratic process. To maintain transparency, the LRC provided the public with current legislator addresses and current district boundaries.

  • Members of the LRC and legislators are most familiar with the needs and concerns of their areas and constituents. They were elected to represent all areas of the state and live and work in those areas. Contrarily, members of the IRC have a different perspective of the state, as most members reside along the Wasatch Front.


Overview of the Maps

The Legislative Redistricting Committee prioritized a “One Utah” vision throughout all its map drawing. We are much stronger in congress when we have 6 members representing both urban and rural Utah. When the committee toured rural Utah, one of the main requests was an urban/rural mix in the make-up of our congressional maps. Rural Utah is the lifeblood of the state in terms of agriculture, energy, and recreation while urban Utah drives our economy.

As a committee, we prioritized keeping cities and counties intact, when possible. This was a significant difference to the maps drawn in the last redistricting process, a decade ago. When possible, the legislative maps preserve the cores of prior districts to allow voters to maintain continuity of representation. Population shifts required that some sitting legislators be combined into one district (this occurred twice, the first in the West Valley area with two Republicans and the second, in the Draper area between a Republican and Democrat.)


Seats were reapportioned based on population growth, creating two new districts in areas that have experienced explosive growth. I am especially excited that we have a state house map that is responsive to the growth we have seen in our southwest corner of the valley; in the current boundaries for House District 52, we have over 34,000 extra voting constituents. The new House map creates a new seat in the Herriman/Riverton/South Jordan area. A new district was also created in the Eagle Mountain area. These two new districts will balance out populations and better reflect the principle of “one person, one vote.”

The Maps

State School Board: As a committee, we believed the state of Utah is best served when school board members are required to represent more than one district. This allows them to represent a broader array of needs, rather than hyper-focusing on the issues facing a single district. This contributes to a “One Utah” approach.


You can see the new School Board map here.

Congressional: In keeping with the “One Utah” philosophy of the committee, the legislature drew maps that allowed for each member of Congress to represent a district that was representative of the entire state, rather than districts that allow them to put blinders on anything outside their half of the rural/urban divide. I think it’s important to note that prior to the redistricting process two members of Congress lived outside of the boundaries of their district, after the redistricting process, those two members still live outside of the boundaries of their district. No special preferences were given in the mapmaking process to draw them into their districts.


You can view the new Congressional map here.

State House: As a committee, we listened closely to the input provided by Utahns from around the state in many meetings and public hearings. We prioritized clean, easy-to-distinguish borders, taking city and county lines, major roads/natural boundaries, and straight lines into account. Another seat in our area, in response to explosive growth, is a huge win for the Southwest Corner of the valley! It means additional representation in supporting education, transportation, and infrastructure projects that will impact our area.


This is what the boundaries look like for our district


and corner of the valley.

You can view the full House map here.


State Senate: The Senate maps kept in line with the “One Utah” philosophy by working to incorporate a rural/urban mix into senate districts when possible.


You can view the new Senate map here.

28 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All