Two redistricting proposals ask for ASUC Senate support

A redistricting proposal that criticized the proposed student super-majority redistricting plan led by ASUC External Affairs Vice President Joey Freeman was presented to the ASUC Senate Wednesday night.

The two proposals take radically different looks at the redistricting issues — the first is a charter compliant plan that closely follows previous boundary lines, while the second would redraw district lines to concentrate students into fewer voting districts.

John Nguyen, spokesperson for the Maximum Participation Minimum Deviation Coalition — which is behind the charter compliant plan — said at the meeting that the redistricting proposal has the “lowest deviation (from the 1986 boundary lines) out of all the proposals submitted before while the ASUC student super-majority has the highest deviation.”

Nguyen brought a petition for members of the senate to sign in support of the coalition’s plan, which prompted Freeman to present the student super-majority plan  — which he had originally planned to present the following week —  at the Wednesday night meeting.

A major contention between the two plans surrounded the 1986 boundary lines. While neither of the advocates believed the boundary lines were appropriate, Nguyen said any redistricting was legally obligated to adhere to them. However, Freeman said the 1986 lines were made to dilute the students voice and were legally questionable.

“What we’re doing with this campaign is pairing it with charter reform,” Freeman said.

Freeman said he hopes to see charter reform on the November 2012 ballot, which would allow the student super-majority district to become chart compliant.

With a student super-majority district, two current city council members might be essentially “kicked off” if students run.

“The goal seems to be to have two elected officials representing students.” said SQUELCH! Senator Noah Ickowitz. “The amount of things we have to do to get to that point may destroy our relationship with two city council members who already advocate student rights.”