The announcement for Washington's redistricting will mean changes near and far (if you count the other side of the mountains as far).
First the up-close look.
Pasco has been divided between two districts, in what is an artful, if not outright bizarre, way. Residents of Desert Plateau may find the line especially interesting. It runs up Road 44, then follows parts of Meadowsweet Street and Meadow Beauty Drive. Go figure.
It's a done deal and can be viewed in at least a couple of ways.
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The glass-is-half-full perspective is, "Great, now our community gets twice as much representation in Olympia." Representatives from the 9th District and the 16th will have Pasco's greater good on their minds.
The glass-is-half-empty folks will lament that their voice will be diluted and less effective.
That all depends on who the voters send to Olympia and how active each district is in lobbying its representatives.
Kennewick has been split among the 8th and 16th districts for years, and residents don't appear to have suffered a lack of representation in Olympia.
It's not necessarily a bad thing for Pasco to follow suit.
But it comes to this. The line has been drawn. The decision has been made. The responsibility now rests with the constituents of each district to make sure their wheels are appropriately squeaky.
For the bigger picture, though, Washington has picked up a new congressional seat. Of course, we haven't seen any elections yet, but it seems like a Democrat will have a slight advantage in the newly formed District 10.
Democrat Denny Heck already has entered the race for the 2012 seat. Heck has 10 years in the state Legislature and was the House Majority Leader before he retired in 1986.
Regardless of whether you bleed red or blue (and even if you live in Pasco's Desert Plateau), you have to agree that the redistricting process in Washington is fair -- overall.
The board is independent of the Legislature, so there isn't the gerrymandering and political posturing that other states have had to contend with.
The board also is balanced. Two Democrats and two Republicans with voting rights. One party can't strong arm the other.
There will be some adjustment period, especially for voters who find themselves in a new district.
Benton City and Prosser are in that boat, but community leaders don't seem too concerned about it.
And although Pasco requested to be kept in one district, it just really couldn't be done.
"It's unfortunate Pasco got split," said Lura Powell of Richland, who serves as the Redistricting Commission's nonvoting chairwoman.
"I didn't want it, either," Powell said. "The people of Pasco really did make their voices heard. ... I think part of the problem with Pasco is that it is so large and growing fast."
The growth in Franklin County still is hot right now.
The trick for all voters is to make the best of the new boundaries, make their voices heard and play the hands they're dealt for all their worth.