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The Town Council has approved direction to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (AIRC) requesting that Fountain Hills remain included in the same districts as its community neighbor, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation.

The council was unanimous in approving the action at its Oct. 5 session.

Mayor Ginny Dickey was asked by FMYN President Bernadine Burnette to sign onto a letter approved by the Tribal Council asking for consideration in forming of new Congressional and State Legislative districts following the 2020 Census.

Currently the two communities are within the same State Legislative District 23 and Congressional District 6 and the letter asks for this situation to continue into the next decade.

“By this letter, the Nation and the Town are expressing our shared desire to remain together in whatever legislative and congressional districts are ultimately adopted,” reads the letter.

“Both FMYN and Fountain Hills have independently and collaboratively developed a well-established place in our state and the Phoenix metropolitan area. We share a common border as well as similar interests. For over two decades, we have worked together to solve collective issues and leverage our resources to address a variety of issues that affect our respective communities. We established longstanding partnerships and developed Intergovernmental Agreements that benefit our communities in areas such as transportation, infrastructure, telecommunications, and public safety and often share resources including those related to healthcare and economic development. We also share interests and developed partnerships with our neighbor, the City of Scottsdale.

“It is FMYN’s and Fountain Hills’ position that together, as governing bodies serving our communities’ interests, we constitute a strong community of interest with strong economic ties to our region, and the ability to leverage federal and local resources to the betterment of our respective communities. As a result of our strong partnerships and years of shared investment, we have become a vital and cohesive part of the region and the economy of metropolitan Phoenix. The continued benefit of the partnerships between our communities justifies our mutual inclusion into the same legislative and congressional districts.

“We believe the alignments requested would be consistent with the six criterion and Arizona Constitutional requirements the IRC must follow in crafting the new district boundaries. As the redistricting process continues, we respectfully encourage the IRC to incorporate our recommendations in future congressional and legislative alignments and final district mapping.”

The AIRC was formed to take the role of rewriting the district maps from the Arizona Legislature following the Census every 10 years. While the 2020 Census indicates some population shifts in the Phoenix area, there was little change in the districts serving Fountain Hills and Fort McDowell.

The commission is currently in the process of holding hearings and taking input from stakeholders related to the process of adjusting the district boundaries. Preliminary draft maps released by the commission indicate that the two communities will continue to remain in the same districts, as they do now.