Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-Spokane) and Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma) on Thursday announced their choices to represent their respective caucuses as Commissioners on the Washington State Redistricting Commission.
Former state representative Brady Piñero Walkinshaw will represent the Senate. Washington State Labor Council Secretary Treasurer April Sims will represent the House of Representatives.
The Redistricting Commission is tasked with redrawing Washington’s legislative and congressional district boundaries every 10 years following the completion of the US Census.
Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig (D-Spokane): “I am excited to have Rep. Walkinshaw represent the Senate Democratic Caucus and the people of Washington State on the Redistricting Commission. The redistricting process is fundamental to a fair and representative democracy, and in Brady we have found just the right person to carry out this important work. He is a talented, thoughtful public servant with a track record of working tirelessly on behalf of the people of this state. These traits will serve him and Washington well in this role.”
Speaker of the House Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma): “April Sims’ long record of service, leadership, and collaboration has always focused on ensuring all voices are heard. She will bring that same focus to her work on the Redistricting Commission, and I am so grateful she will be representing House Democrats in that role.”
Brady Walkinshaw: “Our state’s approach to drawing our legislative and congressional maps is crucial to the fair and representative outcomes of our democratic process. I’m honored by the appointment and look forward to the work over the coming year.”
About Brady Walkinshaw:
Brady Piñero Walkinshaw, 36, is the CEO of Grist.org, the Seattle-based, national environmental media nonprofit. Prior to Grist, Brady served two terms in the Washington State Legislature from 2013-2017 representing the 43rd Legislative District. Brady was a Program Officer for several years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation focused on food and nutrition in developing countries. He is a Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of Princeton University, where he served on the Board of Trustees. Brady grew up in rural Whatcom County on Sumas Mountain, in the State’s 42nd Legislative District, and is a graduate of Nooksack Valley schools.
Brady will be the first Latino Redistricting Commissioner, and the second LGBTQ individual to serve on the Commission, as well as the youngest Redistricting Commissioner ever appointed in our state.
April Sims: “I am honored to be the first woman of color and Black person appointed to serve on Washington’s Redistricting Commission. I look forward to working with my fellow Commissioners to develop a process that is fair, transparent, inclusive, and in line with the values of our state.”
About April Sims:
April Sims is Secretary Treasurer of the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) AFL-CIO. She is the first woman of color and the first Black person to be elected as a WSLC executive officer and is the second highest ranking labor leader in the state. She previously served as the WSLC’s Political and Strategic Campaign Director and as Field Mobilization Director.
April has dedicated her professional life to building power for working people, bringing communities together, and advancing racial and economic justice. A life-long resident of the City of Destiny, April is proud to call Tacoma home.
About the re-districting commission:
The Redistricting Commission meets every 10 years following the completion of the US Census and is tasked with redrawing Washington state’s existing legislative and congressional districts to reflect changing populations and demographics. The Commission consists of five members, one each appointed by the four major legislative caucuses and a non-voting fifth member. Each caucus must appoint its representative by Jan. 15, 2021 and those commissioners must appoint the non-voting fifth commissioner by Jan. 31.
The Washington Constitution requires the commission must complete its work by Nov. 15, 2021. Three of the four commissioners must vote in the affirmative in order for redrawn maps to be approved. Should the Commission fail to approve redrawn maps, the State Supreme Court has until April 30, 2022 to come up with its own plan that cannot be amended.
If the Commission completes its work by its deadline, the legislature may amend the map up to the 30th day of the 2022 Legislative Session. Any legislative changes to the redrawn map requires 2/3rds approval and cannot alter a legislative or congressional district by more than two percent of its population.
The redrawn maps will go into effect in the 2022 midterm election.