In November 2010, I was elected to represent the citizens of Iowa House District 26, which is basically made up of the city of Clinton, and Center and Hampshire townships. But by law, the population of each House district must equal approximately 1/100th of the entire state population, and the population of each Senate district must equal approximately 1/50th of the entire state population –and based on the 2010 US census figures, that means that each of the Senate districts should have a population as close to 60,927 as possible, and that each of the House districts should have a population as close to 30,927 as possible. Since the populations of Iowa’s counties and cities change over time, Iowa law requires that every ten years, the district boundaries must be re-configued (and the districts re-numbered) in order to ensure that the population of each House and Senate district is as close to the ideal as possible.
What this means is that in the parts of the state in which population has increased over the past ten years (say, Des Moines), the new districts cover a smaller area, while in the parts of the state in which population has decreased over the past ten years, the new districts cover more ground. That’s what happened in my new district, House District 98 — it continues to encompass all of current District 26, but in order to get to reach the 31,000 population requirement, the boundary lines move north, to the Clinton/Jackson county line, pulling in Waterford/Deep Creek/Elk River townships (and thus the cities of Charlotte, Andover, and Goose Lake), and also a wee bit east, pulling in the town of Low Moor.
Which is interesting, because even though none of the residents of these areas had the opportunity to vote for me (or against me) in November 2010, I’ll be asking them to re-elect me this November — because thanks to re-districting, the legislators they elected to the House will be on the ballot in other districts (Representative Brian Moore in new House District 58, and Representative Steve Olson in new House District 97). Since many of the residents of my new district have probably never heard of me, once this session is over (probably the end of April), I will be spending lots of time in these rural areas knocking on doors and asking folks about what they want and expect from their elected officials.
But in the meantime, if any of you know anyone who lives in the Waterford/Deep Creek/Elk River area, or in the town of Low Moor, please do me a favor and email them a link to this blog, so they can find out a little more about me and my views on various issues. Or please suggest to them that they become my Facebook friend, since all of these posts end up there anyhow. Thanks so much!
And if you want to read more about the new House and Senate districts, and about who has filed to run for office in each of them, here is a link to John Deeth’s fantastic overview of each and every district…required reading for those of us here at the Capital.