Former state representative Brady Piñero Walkinshaw was sworn in Friday morning as the Senate Democratic Caucus representative on the Washington State Redistricting Commission.
Walkinshaw, who was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu, joins Secretary Treasurer of the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC) AFL-CIO April Sims, who will represent the House of Representatives on the Commission and took the oath of office Monday.
“I’m honored to be serving our state in this once-in-a-decade effort that’s so vital to our democratic process,” said Walkinshaw. “I look forward to partnering with my fellow commissioners to lay the foundation for strong electoral representation in Washington State for the next decade.
“This undertaking is so critical to our democracy, and I’m especially excited to create ways – even in this virtual environment – to build broad-based, substantive public engagement in the process.”
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.
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 who must be appointed by Jan. 31. To be approved, the fifth member must be agreed to by at least three of the four Commissioners.
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.