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The new Alaska House District 38 map adds 1 community and loses 9 others

The Alaska Redistricting Board adopted a new map of the state's legislative districts on Nov. 10, 2021.
Alaska Redistricting Board
The Alaska Redistricting Board adopted a new map of the state's legislative districts on Nov. 10, 2021.

Alaska has a new map outlining state house and senate districts. They’re redrawn following the U.S. Census each decade to account for changes in population. The Alaska Redistricting Board voted to finalize the map on Nov. 10.

Under the new map, Bethel’s District 38 has shrunk because its population has grown since the last census count. Under the state constitution, each of Alaska’s 40 state house districts are required to contain about the same population. This decade, that number is about 18,335 people per district.

Under the changes, District 38 includes the city of Bethel, Nunivak Island, lower Kuskokwim River communities, and stretches along the Bering Sea coast from Chevak south to Quinhagak.

In the reduction, the district lost five middle Kuskokwim River communities. Under the new map, the district only extends upriver to Tuluksak. It no longer contains Lower Kalskag, Upper Kalskag, Aniak, Chuathbaluk, and Crooked Creek. Those five communities are now included in District 37 to the south, which spans the Bristol Bay region and the Aleutian Islands.

District 38’s coastal boundaries have also changed. Under the previous map, the district spanned from Newtok south along the Bering Sea coast to Platinum. Now, it spans from Chevak to Quinhagak. So Chevak is added, and Goodnews Bay and Platinum become part of District 37 to the south.

District 38 also lost its only two lower Yukon River communities. Previously, the district contained Marshall and Russian Mission. Under the new map, both communities are now absorbed in District 39 to the north, which covers the other lower Yukon River communities and the Norton Sound region.

Overall, under the new map, District 38 has added the community of Chevak and lost the communities of Lower Kalskag, Upper Kalskag, Aniak, Chuathbaluk, Crooked Creek, Marshall, Russian Mission, Platinum, and Goodnews Bay.

Challengers have 30 days from when the map was adopted to legally challenge the district boundaries.

Anna Rose MacArthur is the KYUK News Director. She has worked at KYUK since 2015 and previously worked at KNOM in Nome, Alaska.
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