CALDWELL, Idaho — Every ten years, the lines of Idaho's political districts are redrawn based on census data. On Wednesday, the Idaho Commission on Reapportionment made its way to Canyon County to hear resident's concerns and get their input.
The commission's work is already underway and they have a 90-day deadline to meet. The commission first public hearing was in Caldwell at the public library.
“I’m from north Idaho. I don’t know this district well this region, by coming here, people who know the region, who the neighborhood; they can tell me that doesn’t make sense it would be better for the line to go here and include this community with this community would be that’s the input we are looking for,” said Dan Schmidt, Co-Chair of the state's redistricting commission.
The process is a requirement to redraw Idaho's legislative and congressional districts as population numbers change.
“Truthfully the numbers are very important how we need to have a similar amount of people in similar districts. We can’t make one district 10,000 people and the next district 20,000 people. that's unconstitutional but if drawing the line here and brings these people together and moving this one over here, if it makes sense that is the right way to do it,” Schmidt said.
A few citizens testified in front of the commission to share their input.
“If you look just west of I84, a friend of mine called this out to me. but a little notch was carved out from the Caldwell district,” said a Caldwell resident, "That appears to be Caldwell Housing Authority Farmway Village. Although this neighborhood is down the freeway from the Caldwell. I think it must remain in the Caldwell district.
This community mostly receives its services in Caldwell.”
Others also asked the commission Caldwell communities as they create districts.
“I would ask the commission to consider that community of interest of people who live together, work together,” said
The commission held a hearing in Nampa at city hall on Wednesday night as well and it will make stops in Boise Meridian and Eagle. Next week they’ll be heading to north Idaho.
“Having this open process, a process which people can understand, what is what we are doing and they can feel confidence in being represented,” Schmidt said.
PUBLIC HEARING MEETING TIMES
Boise-7:00 p.m. State Capitol Building, Lincoln Auditorium.
Meridian 1:00 p.m. City Hall Council Chambers
Eagle 1:00 p.m. Eagle City Hall Council Chambers