Congressional Redistricting: Why Plan F instead of Plan C?
An interesting tactical question regarding the current state of Rhode Island’s Congressional redistricting process is why “Plan F” instead of “Plan C”. At the municipal scale of resolution, Plan C and Plan F (unveiled last night by the Rhode Island Redistricting Commission) are based on the same concept: Move Burrillville from CD1 to CD2 and redraw the line that splits Providence between districts. Plan F involves at least one “compactness” laugher — it connects South Providence to the rest of CD 1, literally, by a jump across the water via the Point Street Bridge or points south. (assuming, of course, that what is indicated as the Point St. Bridge on the pre-Iway maps being used by the redistricting commission really is). Plan C created a much more contiguous CD 1, by moving some downtown area north of Point St from CD2 to CD1 to make a geographically firmer connection between South Providence and the rest of CD1. Also, Plans C and F use different schemes for swapping areas around Smith Street between CD1 and CD2.
Perhaps it is folly to expect rational efficiency from a government process — especially once the consultants get involved — but it is worth asking why “Plan C” wasn’t put forward as the first recommendation by the Redistricting Commission, if “Plan F” is where we could end up.