Redistricting map puts portion of Darien in Stamford district
As part of the redistricting plan approved by the Reapportionment Committee, a small section of Darien will be moved into a Stamford district.
The section being moved is not specified but according to the redistricting maps it is a portion of the northwestern part of the town. That section of town will be included in the 147th district and the rest of Darien and a portion of Norwalk will remain in the 141st district, according to the map.
Every 10 years federal and state laws require district lines to be redrawn based on census data. The Connecticut General Assembly appoints eight legislators, two from each party's caucus in the House of Representatives and Senate, to sit on the committee, according to the CGA web site. The committee members are Sen. Donald Williams, Rep. Lawrence Cafero, Sen. John McKinney, Rep. Christopher Donovan, Sen. Martin Looney, Sen. Leonard Fasano, Rep. Sandy Nafis and Rep. Arthur O'Neill.
The legislators must prepare plans for redrawing the district lines by Sept. 15 or the state constitution gives the Supreme Court the power to establish the district lines.
State Rep. Terrie Wood said she spoke at Monday night's meeting in Norwalk about considering redrawing the lines so that Darien could potentially have it's own state senator.
"If we had a state senator then there would be more of a voice on fiscal issues," Wood said.
One of the issues involved with redrawing district lines is that the number of seats in the Senate is determined by the population of a district. Darien's district lines would have to be redrawn in such a way that the population in the district would be 99,280.
"I don't know how they would refigure the lines, but it would make sense to place Darien with New Canaan because they are fiscal conservatives," Wood said.
"Ideally it would be nice to have a part of Stamford and all of Darien included in the redistricting."
Wood said the committee will take into account what people say, but populations will also factor into how the district lines are redrawn.
"We should have someone who reflects our fiscal wishes," Wood said.
However, Wood said it could be difficult to get a Darien resident into a Senate seat because would have to appeal to Darien and Norwalk or Stamford residents as well.
"It could be challenging because the person from Darien might not know the people from Norwalk or Stamford as well and vice versa," Wood said.
The CGA website says the information from the census the legislature uses for redrawing district lines is limited to total population, voting age population, race and Hispanic origin. When redrawing lines, the courts have ruled redistricters must respect racial minorities and other redistricting principles which could include respecting communities of interest, drawing contiguous and reasonably compact districts, respecting incumbents and maintaining partisan fairness, the website says.