12/31/2012 3:30:00 PM Changes in the Fourth Congressional District
Doc Hastings U.S. Congressman
As some of you likely noted when you received your ballots earlier this year, starting in 2013, Congressional districts in Washington state are going to look a little different. The change in Congressional districts is due to a process as old as our country itself. The House of Representatives was created to be the "people's House," where the number of representatives are based on population. While our Founding Fathers likely never envisioned a nation spanning from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean with 315 million people, they did have the foresight to create a system within the U.S. Constitution to ensure that Congressional districts remain roughly equal in population as people move from place to place. Every 10 years, the United States Census Bureau conducts a count of all of the people in the United States and the 435 voting seats within the House of Representatives are then divided up among the 50 states based on population. After the 2010 Census, this meant Washington state gained a seat, while states like Louisiana and Missouri lost seats. Each state then determines how it wishes to draw the lines separating Congressional districts, as long as the population in each district is approximately the same. Here in Washington state, this is done by a bipartisan commission made up of two Republicans and two Democrats. Feb. 7 of this year, the final redistricting plan that had been adopted by the Washington State Redistricting Commission was signed into law by Gov. Gregoire. The new congressional districts go into effect beginning Jan. 3, 2013. Within central Washington, Congressman Reichert will now be representing those in Chelan and Kittitas counties, as well as the residents of East Wenatchee. Congresswoman Herrera Beutler will be representing the people of Klickitat and Skamania counties. I have the honor of representing residents of Okanogan County, all of Adams County and a portion of Walla Walla County who were previously represented by Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers. I look forward to working with the new residents of my district, as well as those in Benton, Douglas, Franklin, Grant and Yakima counties I will continue to represent. I will very much miss the opportunity to work on behalf of the people from the areas that are no longer part of the Fourth Congressional District. However, I encourage the residents of these areas to learn more about your new representatives and their positions on issues by visiting their websites Jan. 3 at www.reichert.house.gov and www.herrerabeutler.house.gov. To those in my district feel free to visit my website at www.hastings.house.gov or call at 509-543-9396.