In August of 2021, newly released 2020 US Census data showed that the number of people living in each of Clatsop County’s five commissioner districts has shifted so that the populations of the boundaries are no longer equally balanced. The Clatsop County Charter outlines a timeframe of 120 days from release of the census data for the County to present to the Board adjustments to the boundaries so that the “total population is allocated nearly equally between the five districts; each of contiguous territory and as compact as possible.”
Oregon’s Kitchen Table worked with the County to conduct a public engagement process to hear from residents of Clatsop County about what was most important to them when considering changes to the county’s district boundaries. In order to reach a number of different communities in different parts of the county, we designed a multi-faceted approach that also took into account existing COVID restrictions. We held five public forums via Zoom during different days and times of day. We also offered an online survey in both English and Spanish. We conducted outreach to Spanish speaking and Latinx / Hispanic community members at two different vaccination clinics held by Consejo Hispano, a community-based organization focused on serving Spanish speaking and Latinx / Hispanic community members in Clatsop County.
About 300 people participated in the different forms of engagement activities. A total of 253 people responded to the OKT online survey available in English and Spanish. 40 people participated via survey questions on paper at two vaccination clinic events. Approximately 25 Clatsop County residents participated in public forums. These activities were conducted between October 12th and November 5th, 2021.
County staff shared the results of the community engagement and provided recommendations on district boundary changes to the Clatsop Board of County Commissioners in December 2021. You can view those recommendations here.