Redistricting town hall planned for Leavenworth

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

The Kansas House of Representatives and Senate committees on redistricting are holding a joint listening tour this week that will include a stop in Leavenworth.

A town hall meeting is scheduled for 9-10:15 a.m. Friday in the Riverview Room of the Riverfront Community Center, 123 S. Esplanade St., according to information posted on the website for the Kansas Legislative Research Department.

The meeting will allow members of the public to provide comment as part of the process for redrawing state legislative and congressional districts in Kansas following the 2020 census.

People can provide testimony orally and in written form. People can sign up in advance to present oral testimony at Friday's town hall meeting.

People can send an email to redistricting@klrd.ks.gov or call 785-296-3181. The deadline to contact KLRD staff in order to be listed on the agenda is 5 p.m. Thursday.

There will be a sign-up sheet available the day of the meeting for people who do not register in advance.

The co-chairpersons of the meeting will determine how much time will be available for oral testimony.

The KLRD website encourages people who want to speak during Friday's town hall meeting to also submit written testimony because of possible time constraints.

Written testimony should be submitted electronically in a PDF format by 5 p.m. Thursday to redistricting@klrd.ks.gov.

Written testimony should include the person's name, his or her affiliation (if there is any), contact information, and the date and location of the meeting at which the testimony is to be presented. All of this information should be placed at the top of the first page. The KLRD website asks people to add an identifier to subsequent pages.

People who submit testimony are asked to designate whether it is intended to be "oral-only, written-only, or oral with written testimony, as well as the meeting location," according to the KLRD website.

Submitted testimony will become public record.

Friday's meeting is one of 14 town meetings for the listening tour of the redistricting committees. The meetings began Monday and will conclude Friday.

Some have criticized the schedule of the listening tour as being too compressed.

Martha Pint, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Kansas, submitted a letter to the Times in which she expressed disappointment that the meetings are being conducted in a single week.

She stated that hearings took place in the same 14 cities following the 2010 census. But those hearings took place from July to October 2011.

She also expressed disappointment that the schedule for this week's meetings had been released on what she considers short notice. She also expressed concern that the meetings are being conducted prior to the release of detailed population counts by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR