Our presenter today was State Senator Jason Isaacson.  Senator Isaacson served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2012 to 2016 and has served State Senate (District 42) since his election in 2016.  Among his many responsibilities in the Senate, he is the ranking Minority Chair for Redistricting, and that was the topic for today‚Äôs presentation.
Legislative Redistricting is the process of redrawing the boundaries of election districts to ensure that the people of each district are equally represented.  At the national level, the Census becomes the basis for Congressional reapportionment which determines how many seats each state has in the 435 member U.S. House of Representatives.   Minnesota came within 54 residents of losing one of its 8 seats in the House of Representatives after the 2020 Census.   Going forward, each of the 8 seats will represent 713,312 Minnesotans in the House, but population movement to the bigger cities and suburbs requires district boundary changes to ensure that the population living in each district is equal.  This means that district 1, 7 and 8 boundaries must be changed to include more people and District 2,3,4,5 and 6 boundaries must shrink to include fewer people.  This is followed by State Legislative redistricting and I think you can see the difficulty in this period of partisan politics.  Although the State Legislature is charged with developing a redistricting plan, it has been unable to agree on a plan even once in the current era, so the actual redistricting is accomplished by the competing interests filing lawsuits with the Minnesota Supreme Court which, by some miraculous process, creates the plan that is implemented.  The guiding principles established by the Legislature are: fairness, consistency and reflecting the values of the population.
President-Elect Jason Miller recapped the Board meeting discussion about our upcoming Gold Plate Dinner.  Since there is still uncertainty about Covid, the Board has decided to reserve the Mounds View Community Center for the event.  Factors in the decision were: cost, ambience, and minimal financial risk if we are unable to hold the event.  Many thanks to Geoff Hollimon, Mary Stewart and Nyle Zikmund for their work on this.
We decided not to sponsor the Fourth Grade Foresters tree give-away this year.  We will look at ways to work with New Brighton and Mounds View to observe Arbor Day.