I have lived in Eugene for 40-plus years. I have always lived in state districts that shared my political beliefs, both for state representative and state senate, until this year. For whatever reason, the Democrats in the Oregon Legislature have decided to put a section of southeast Eugene with rural eastern Lane County. This section includes those who live east of East Amazon and south of 30th Avenue.
I feel like I’ve been thrown under the bus. One of the goals of redistricting is to have citizens with commonalities be grouped together. This obviously was not followed for our Eugene neighborhood. There has been speculation it was to deny current Rep. Marty Wilde a chance to run again because he clashed with Tina Kotek. Wilde does not live in the reconfigured district.
If eliminating Wilde is the reason for this redistricting change, it smacks of dirty politics. I’m very disappointed with the Democrats in the Oregon Legislature, and Kotek, in particular. We need to get the process of creating new voting district maps out of politics and have them created by a more independent group. There are several states that use nonpartisan redistricting commissions.