Christopher Constant Anchorage needs more electoral representation of its ethnically diverse population
by carlos matíAS
Electoral reapportionment will bring significant changes to the local electoral landscape in Anchorage says Christopher Constant, Vice Chair of the Reapportionment Committee.
“Voters adopted Proposition 12 in 2020 adding a 12th member to the Assembly,” Christopher Constant tells Sol de Medianoche. “This requires the downtown district that has historically only had one member to increase substantially and all other districts to shrink. This requires a wholesale look at the maps as we are significantly malapportioned.”
Christopher Constant believes that “until the maps are adopted” it will not be possible to know how Anchorage’s electoral landscape has changed.
Anchorage gains in diversity According to U.S. Census Bureau data, Alaska is the twelfth most diverse state, and Anchorage is the living representation of the state’s data. With 291,247 residents counted in 2020 (the latest census update year), a slight decrease in population from the previous census count in 2010 of291,826, Anchorage has gained in diversity. The Hispanic/Latino community is the majority minority, composed mainly of Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Peruvians, and Colombians.
The electoral reflection of diversity Electoral redistricting in other U.S. parts is giving rise to complaints from ethnic minorities, who denounce that such redistricting of electoral districts harms the African American and Hispanic populations and benefits the white American population.
- Will you work and monitor to ensure that this does not happen in Anchorage? The Assembly has long adopted a policy of equity in our work. The principle of not dividing African American and Hispanic populations is something that is broadly shared among Assembly members. It certainly is top of mind for some of us. Historically this has been done in previous Anchorage reapportionment processes. Currently there is a section of North Muldoon that is very diverse and is apportioned to Eagle River which has the opposite characteristic. Hopefully the process in 2022 will undo some of those harms.
More ethnic representation is needed. - How do you think Hispanic, African American, Asian, and Alaska Native minorities will feel well represented in the Municipality of Anchorage? It is historically a struggle. We have spent the last five years working to improve representation. We need more folks from these communities to run and win so they can have a seat at the table.
- Are you in contact with the Anchorage Chief Equity Officer to do this electoral reapportionment? No.
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