While a current plan under consideration to update Seattle’s City Council districts includes splitting Magnolia into two districts, members of a racial equity coalition believe compromise is necessary to make redistricting fair.

Andrew Hong, a member of Redistricting Justice Seattle, a racial equity coalition comprised of different organizations from Seattle and King County, said RJS did not deliberately target Magnolia in its recommendations currently under consideration by a redistricting committee. A current map under consideration by a city committee splits East Lake into two, as well as Magnolia.

Hong said before RJS presented a draft map to the committee in charge of redistricting, members had conducted public meetings to hear different concerns but also work on creating districts that kept together different groups who have been under-represented in city government in the past, such as renters, people of color and young people.

“We were drawing a map that tried to do the most good for neighborhoods across Seattle at large,” Hong said.

Unfortunately, that meant splitting up Magnolia in the process because District 7 has seen the largest population growth in the last 10 years, Hong said. He also said RSJ is sympathetic to concerns that splitting neighborhoods makes it harder for residents’ to advocate for themselves in city government.

“Splitting communities makes it harder for neighborhoods to advocate for themselves. There’s no way around it,” Hong said. “Our coalition’s goal is to make sure the least number of neighborhoods are split across the city as possible.”

People can still comment on the redistricting process. The next public hearing is at 6 p.m. Thursday at L280 Boards and Commissions Room at City Hall. Go to http://www.seattle.gov/redistricting for more information, as well as the Zoom link to watch virtually.