This week will be an incredibly busy one for the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (AIRC).
They have hearings every day this week, as well as next Saturday, ranging from Mesa in central Arizona to Bullhead City in the northwestern part of the state to Window Rock and Pinetop in the northern and eastern reaches of the state. In addition, they'll be visiting Pinal County.
From the schedule of hearings -
Monday, July 25, 6 p.m. - Mesa Convention Center, 263 N. Center St., Mesa. Palo Verde III - Building B
Tuesday, July 26, 6 p.m. - Bullhead City Council Chambers, 1255 Marina Blvd., Bullhead City
Wednesday, July 27, 6 p.m. - Casa Grande City Council Chambers, 510 E. Florence Blvd., Casa Grande; remote location: (City of) Maricopa Unified School District Office Administration Building, 44150 W. Maricopa/Casa Grande Hwy, Maricopa. Board Room
Thursday, July 28, 6 p.m. - Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Board Hearing Room, 1015 Fair St., Prescott; remote location: Yavapai County Cottonwood Annex, 10 S. 6th St., Cottonwood
Friday, July 29, 1 p.m. - Navajoland Inn & Suites (formerly Days Inn) Conference Room, 392 W. Hwy 264, St. Michaels
Saturday, July 30, 1 p.m. - Hon Dah Resort - Casino, 777 Hwy 260, Pinetop. Mt. Baldy Room; remote locations: Holbrook City Council Chambers, 465 1st Ave., Holbrook and Winslow City Council Chambers, 115 E. 2nd St., Winslow
As a special added bonus for die-hard political geeks based in Maricopa County, here is a list of this week's hearings for Maricopa County redistricting -
July 25, 2011
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Scottsdale Community College
9000 East Chaparral Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85256
July 26, 2011
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Chandler/Gilbert Community College, Pecos Campus
Chandler Room SC140
2626 East Pecos Road
Chandler, Arizona 85225
Since the county supes control the county-level redistricting process, I feel confident in making some predictions on the end product - there will be one absolutely bulletproof Democratic district, centered on south Phoenix and southwestern Maricopa County. The other four districts will have strong Republican majorities.
Of course, I have to be honest - that is less a "prediction" than statement of "the way it always is."
It might be time for an initiative petition to amend state law to create an independent redistricting process for the counties. Not that it will make much difference in Maricopa County until there are more Democrats (or at least, more Independents) here.
While the latest Arizona voter registration count shows that the Republicans have an advantage of 134,921 over the Democrats statewide, the R advantage in Maricopa County alone is 164,217.
Hmmmm...maybe that "Baja Arizona as the 51st state" idea has some merit. :)