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Wednesday, January 4, 2012


by Michael Monks 
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It was originally expected to happen Tuesday, but the Covington City Commission's caucus meeting was canceled. Now, Commissioners will vote during a special meeting Thursday at 4:00PM to oppose any redistricting of Covington's urban core from the 65th House District to the 67th. Democrat Arnold Simpson of Old Seminary Square occupies the 65th House seat while Democrat Dennis Keene of Wilder holds the 67th. Each commissioner has stressed to The River City News that the resolution is not in opposition to Keene, but is simply in opposition of breaking up the city's urban core.
The resolution reads as follows (bold emphasis added):

WHEREAS,  the legislature of the Commonwealth of Kentucky is in the process of  redistricting state legislative districts due to changes in population reported by the 2010 Census; and  

WHEREAS,   Kentucky  House  District  65  will  need  to  expand  its  area  to  pick  up lost population, but there is thinking by some in the state’s General Assembly to take away a key area from  District 65 that in reality would take away the pulse and the 
strength of the District overall; and  
WHEREAS,  the majority of the area covered  by  Kentucky  House  District  65  is the urban core of Covington/Kenton County that includes the heart of historic Covington, an area of very distinct character and is now the key area in question; and 
WHEREAS, the people of Covington and  Covington’s city government have strong sense of identity and ownership to this key area because of its significant and historic architecture especially the Roebling Suspension Bridge; because the vision for Covington’s urban core is strongly related to this key area, as the heart of Covington is strongly connected to the geographic  boundaries of this key area (the Ohio River to the north and the Licking River to the east); and, because this key area is where two of Covington’s strongest and oldest organized neighborhood groups are located and are very active in improving the quality of life in all of Covington; and  

WHEREAS, Representative Arnold Simpson has been the Representative for House District 65 since 1994, indicating the people of this District appreciate and respect the way he has represented them at the state level.  His excellent representation relates to his strong roots to the urban core of Covington. He not only is a long-time resident of the area, he also takes seriously being connected to the many neighborhoods, 
church and business leaders, and families of the area.  Representative Arnold Simpson has also developed a deep understanding for the people and for the fabric of Covington’s 
complex urban core; and  

WHEREAS, to take away the heart of District 65 and then expect additional population to be picked up towards the south is politics at its worst.  The manipulation of district lines to benefit partisan politics or special interest over the best interest of the people being represented is wrong; and
WHEREAS, allowing House District 67 that now covers the northwestern part of Campbell County to creep into the heart of Covington’s urban core goes against Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because of the  potential to negatively affect Covington’s historic black community, the Eastside Neighborhood, and those residents’ ability to elect a representative of their choice. The same goes for Covington’s seniors and disabled because within this key area are  a number of apartment complexes, that are home to many of the City’s senior and disabled population, a population quite different from the population of House District 67; and 

WHEREAS, allowing House District 67, a Campbell County District, to creep into the heart of House District 65, a Kenton County District, goes against the Kentucky Constitution Section 33 that states, “No part of a county shall be added to another county to make a district . . . .” 


Section 1 
That the Covington Board of Commissioners, representing the interest of the whole City and especially our residents living in the current drawn lines of House District 65, opposes any redistricting of its historic urban core into House District 67 
that is being considered by the 2012 General Assembly. 

Section 2 
That the Covington Board of Commissioners encourages  state legislators to leave the northeastern drawn lines for House District 65 as  is and only  expand  the District  to 
the south or west as needed in order to pick up population, and to consider not only the distinct character of the City but also of  other cities when drawing and deciding the 
newly drawn state legislative re-districting lines. The Board of Commissioners urges the state legislators to consider the people who feel that they do not have good representation by their elected officials causes disenfranchisement of the people from 
the political/voting process and are less likely to be engaged in their communities. 

Section 3 
That this order/resolution shall take effect and be in full force when passed and recorded according to law.

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