Thursday, November 14, 2013

Describing the 42nd WA Legislative District: Part I - Geography, People, Politics

Here are some screen shots from various sources that show not only the 40th and 42nd WA Legislative Districts but the Bellingham precincts inside the 42.  The first screenshot shows us how Bellingham is divided between the 40 and the 42. One significance of this division is that proposed "Larrabe Springs" or "King Mountain" urban village areas will add growth inside Bellingham or  in land destined to become Bellingham.

Legislative District 42 is a wide swath of geography with lots of room for population growth both inside and outside of Bellingham. It contains 33 200 series precincts from Bellingham and all of the precincts of the smaller cities: Ferndale, Lynden, Blaine, Everson, Nookack, Sumas. The 27K that are not "Non-Hispanic White" is probably an underestimate. Census counts sometimes underestimate the true political influence of Hispanic populations. Note that there is a significant Russian population in the Peaceful Valley area.  

And then there is the significance of the economic infrastructure in the North County area: Two major refineries (which in turn supply much of WA military bases with fuel), the proposed GPT, oil and gas pipelines, major power lines from BC Hydro, "1000" federal agents (most of them working for DHS), major Canadian/American border crossings for both rail and vehicles that stimulates millions of $$ of trade between the United States and Canada. Vancouver is now officially the largest port in North America. In addition, pipelines from Alberta are being doubled to bring even more oil from Albertan oil fields and the Tar Sands. The 42nd district is so much more than raspberries and dairy farms.  The 42nd district *is* critical national infrastructure and export economics.  Master the energy, security, and trade concerns of the 42nd district and you can become powerful enough to become a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Legislative District 40 is carved out between some of the most liberal districts in WA state: The San Juans, northern Anacortes, south Bellingham. Expect it to be represented by Democrats for some long period of time.  LD 40 is where you want to live if you do not want to be represented by Jason Overstreet or associated with Lynden, WA. And it would hardly surprise me if there are wealthy immigrants from the S.F. Bay Area who consider that in their relocation decisions. I suppose the rest of us, comrades, have been stranded behind in the 33 precincts of the 42nd that are Bellingham. Do we solely represent the beachhead of the progressive movement in the 42nd? I doubt that! There are working class democrats, progressives, environmentalists, Lummi, Hispanic and a host of Democrats or otherwise in the North County who do not want to represented by Mr. Overstreet's  rantings or Doug Ericksen's oil company benefactors. Yes! Even in Ferndale and Lynden there are Democrats!

 Below is a precinct close up of the Bellingham precincts in the 42nd. The purple dashed line divides the Legislative Districts. The red dotted line encloses the Bellingham Precincts. Notice how inclusive of Bellingham those precincts (201 - 234) really are. The 42nd LD includes all of north Bellingham precincts (and any of the unincorporated "North Bellingham" precincts), the airport, Birchwood, Columbia, Cornwall, Lettered Streets, Bakerview, Hannegan, Barkeley, everything north of Alabama and  North State  and all of downtown core including the entire Waterfront Planning District. Yes!! All of the proposed new waterfront is in the 42nd!  At least we can't lay the blame for that on the Democrats, despite Ericksen's call to disband the Bellingham office of ECY!  To this extent, the most important properties of the Port of Bellingham are also in the 42nd Legislative District!
The 42nd LD would be a powerful win for any Democratic or Socialist Equality Party member.

Next Up: A  look at the precinct numbers for the WA LD 42nd.

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