OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — After the finalization of the newly drawn legislative and congressional district boundaries, many Oklahomans and legislative leaders will be placed in new districts.
One Oklahoma City Senate district, in particular, SD-30, has changed significantly. With redistricting, it has gone from being the most gerrymandered district in the metro to what will be a geographically compact district.
SD-30 is represented by Senator Julia Kirt and before Kirt by then-Senator, and now, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt.
The district, as it is now, cuts across a number of neighborhoods in north OKC, The Village, around Lake Hefner, Bethany, Warr Acres, and down to the neighborhoods just north of the Fairgrounds.
“My district was a very strange shaped district before as it was drawn in 2010,” Kirt said. “So my district was often used as an example of gerrymandering because of the clear decisions that were made to include certain neighborhoods over others.”
Senate District 30
SD-30 will become the smallest district with a parameter of 22 square miles. Approximately 83,739 people will be included within the senate district lines.
The new SD-30 will still encompass parts of Oklahoma City, Bethany, and Warr Acres but it will no longer stretch north to include The Village or neighborhoods surrounding Lake Hefner.
“I think the good thing is that my district is going to be more compact, so a lot of neighborhoods that are naturally near each other will be in the same district,” Kirt said about the newly drawn SD-30.
Kirt will now live closer to her constituents, which she says is one of the advantages of the new district.
“I’ll live closer to the people I’m representing, which matters to people,” Kirt said. “I would sometimes talk to people and they would think I live in the neighborhood and I wouldn’t be anywhere near there.”
Kirt said the new SD-30 will also present certain challenges since more than half of her district is made up of new constituents.
“It’s tough meeting new folks and them not feeling connected to their person at the Capitol,” Kirt said. “When you make a relationship with a school or with a community leader they get to feel comfortable with who’s representing them so it’s always tough to change and meet new people.”
Kirt said she wants her new constituents to know that she’s ready to be accessible and responsive to their concerns and needs.
Governor Kevin Stitt signed the new district maps into law for the state’s congressional and legislative districts on Monday. The maps will take effect in 2022 for the state’s election cycle and will stay in place for the next decade.
Last Updated November 26, 2021, 10:34 AM by Brett Dickerson – Editor