Did the IRC Forget Paradise Valley, or did PV Get Snubbed?

Photo Credit: Arizona Mirror

Many of our readers are aware of the redistricting process going on currently; the Independent Redistricting Committee, a 5 person appointed body, is currently redrawing the congressional and legislative lines in the state of Arizona, as they do every decade after the census. Every decade there is conversation about what populations go into what districts, as well as the political consequences therein.

Well the first draft of the proposed lines came out recently, and it could be seen as a middle finger to the town of Paradise Valley. The proposed map cuts PV into four different legislative districts.

That’s right…they’re proposing cutting the town of 14,000 people, one of the wealthiest areas in the state, into four districts.

This would create a confusing nightmare for both candidates and voters alike. For candidates, targeting the right voters would be unnecessarily complicated, especially with any method not as precise as direct mail. For voters, imagine trying to find out what district you’re in and who you can vote for, especially since they would very likely get errant advertisements from candidates out-of-district. As Councilmember Julie Pace wisely noted, “Four is too many, it doesn’t work. For campaigning, signage, communications, reaching out, it really is complicated”.

So how did this happen? It’s tough to say, but obviously there is a lack of PV representation in the Independent Redistricting Commission. And with PV resident Aaron Lieberman gone from the legislature, and Steve Chucri gone from the County Board of Supervisors, we have to wonder, where else is PV underrepresented.

We tend to believe that this is pure oversight, and hopefully with effective lobbying (as seems to be in place now) it will be rectified. It does make one wonder if PV is getting hurt in other ways by its current lack of representation. With as much wealth as resides in the town, it should have more of a seat at various tables.