Welcome to the Wednesday, March 17, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- First House incumbent announces 2022 retirement
- San Antonio voters to decide police union collective bargaining repeal
- Register for our March 24 briefing on election systems
First House incumbent announces 2022 retirement
Last week, we looked at announced retirements from the U.S. Senate. Today, we’re turning to the House. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.) announced on March 12 that she won’t seek re-election next year. Kirkpatrick is the first U.S. representative to announce a 2022 retirement.
The chart below shows how many U.S. House members didn’t seek re-election in previous election cycles:
The chart below shows how many months before the November general election representatives have announced their retirements during the current and previous two election cycles. The chart begins with the November of the previous cycle, or two years before the general election. For example, a retirement announcement in March 2021 would be 20 months before the Nov. 2022 election. By the end of March 2019, three incumbents announced they would retire in 2020. Six incumbents had done so by that point in the 2018 cycle.
The 43 states with more than one congressional district will redraw district lines following the 2020 census. State legislatures and/or commissions are responsible for redistricting in each state. New district lines could lead to retirements where incumbents’ districts become less favorable to them.
Redistricting could also lead to incumbent vs. incumbent primary and general elections. In the 2012 House elections—which used district lines drawn after the 2010 census—there were 10 incumbent v. incumbent primaries. In general elections, incumbents ran against one another in California’s 30th, California’s 44th, Iowa’s 3rd, Ohio’s 16th, and Louisiana’s 3rd.
San Antonio voters to decide police union collective bargaining repeal
In 2020, we identified 20 police-related measures that voters decided in 10 cities and four counties within seven states. These measures concerned police oversight, reductions in or restrictions on law enforcement budgets, body and dashboard camera footage, and more. All 20 were approved. Let’s take a look at what’s happening this year.
On May 1, voters in San Antonio, Texas, will decide whether to repeal local authority for collective bargaining with the San Antonio Police Officers Association. Under state law, cities are allowed to negotiate with police and firefighter unions through collective bargaining to determine compensation, hours, and other conditions of employment. State law also prohibits strikes and lockouts and authorizes penalties for such activity. Proposition B would repeal local authority for bargaining with the city police association.
In San Antonio, citizens can place a measure on the ballot through an indirect initiative petition if at least 10% of the city’s qualified voters as of the last regular election sign it. The city council can either enact the measure or put it on the ballot. Supporters submitted more than the required 20,282 signatures, and the city council voted to certify the initiative for the ballot.
Thirteen of the 100 largest U.S. cities by population are in Texas. Four—Corpus Christi, El Paso, Laredo, and San Antonio—use collective bargaining in police negotiations. Five—Lubbock, Garland, Arlington, Irving, and Plano—do not have contracts with police unions. Four Texas cities—Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston—use meet and confer, in which there is no requirement that a city and police union reach an agreement on wages, benefits, and other working conditions.
Also on May 1, Austin voters will decide a measure that would establish the position of director of police oversight in the city charter with the “responsibility to ensure transparency and accountability as it relates to policing.” The city council would determine details about the selection of the director and staff if the measure is approved. (We’ll have more on Austin’s other ballot measures tomorrow.)
Two additional police- and criminal justice-related measures may make the ballot in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, on May 18.
Register for our March 24 briefing on election systems
St. Louis used approval voting for the first time this spring, and New York City will debut ranked-choice voting in its upcoming mayoral primaries. What better time for a briefing on recent changes to how people vote across the United States? Join Ballot Measures Project Director Josh Altic and staff writer Amée LaTour for a discussion of recent ballot measures on election systems. Josh will walk us through:
- Alaska’s top four ranked-choice voting initiative,
- Mississippi Ballot Measure 2,
- New York City’s 2019 ranked-choice voting measure,
- St. Louis’ 2020 approval voting measure, and
- 5 other local ranked-choice voting measures
They’ll also look at what unfolded in St. Louis’ mayoral primary earlier this month and preview New York City’s mayoral election.
The briefing is at 11 a.m. Central Time on Wednesday, March 24. I hope you’ll join us!