Redistricting in Arizona & What this Means for Chandler

Nov. 3, 2021
| by:
Councilmember Rene Lopez

In November 2000, Arizona voters passed Proposition 106, an initiative that modified the Arizona Constitution by removing the State Legislature’s ability to draw congressional and state legislative districts and reassigning this task to the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC).

A new Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (AIRC) was appointed in January 2021 to adopt new congressional and legislative districts for Arizona, following the results of the most recent census. The State has nine congressional and 30 legislative districts, and the goal is to redraw these districts in a way that is balanced for the population while keeping communities of interest together as much as practicable.  

To begin, the Commission’s contracted map-makers created a grid map at the six-way intersection of Grand and 19th Avenues and McDowell Road where the state fairgrounds is located in central Phoenix, then broke the state into four quadrants moving clockwise. All the congressional and legislative districts are within one person of being equal.

Using the approved grid maps with draft districts of equal populations that are compact and connected, commissioners then consider the five other factors the state constitution says it must weigh in setting up the real districts.

The commission is complying with the U.S. Constitution and the Voting Rights Act, keeping “communities of interest” together, considering features such as city, town and county boundaries and keeping districts geographically compact, and creating competitive districts where doing so would not create a significant detriment to the other goals. Additionally, the U.S. Constitution requires that each Congressional district within a state must have an identical number of people as possible, and each Legislative district within a state must have close to the same number of people. 

You may be wondering, “How does this affect me or the residents of Chandler?” Redistricting will impact Chandler residents because your state and congressional districts will change, which may change who represents you at the State Capitol or in Congress. Currently, for the Congressional Districts, eastern and southern Chandler (as well as Gilbert, Queen Creek and Mesa) has District 5 with Representative Andy Biggs, and western and central Chandler (as well as Tempe, Scottsdale and Mesa) has District 9 with Representative Greg Stanton.

Legislative District 17 consists of residents living in central, south, east, and northeast Chandler and is represented by Senator J.D. Mesnard and Representatives Jeff Weninger and Jennifer Pawlik. District 18 encompasses residents living in northwest and west Chandler and is represented by Senator Sean Bowie and Representatives Mitzi Epstein and Jennifer Jermaine.

Ensuring that residents have accurate representation at the local, state and federal levels is critical. I encourage those that are interested to explore the proposed maps on the AIRC website and see if the draft maps reflect their community, and will provide them accurate representation.

The AIRC completed the drafts on Oct. 28 and are now in a public comment period through Dec. 4.

You can provide feedback on the draft maps by visiting the AIRC website.

For more information, visit, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission