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North Rapid City, once split, now together in a legislative district

Rapid City area districts
New Rapid City area districts

One Rapid City neighborhood that’s been split up legislatively for decades is now in a single district.

Lawmakers are placing most of North Rapid City in District 32. Previous maps had the area split into three separate districts.

Kellen Returns From Scout is a Lakota from Rapid City who has advocated for a contiguous district for the neighborhood.

He hopes the heavily Native American and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods will see the benefits of better representation.

“We have the most—or one of the most—diverse districts in our state. And we recognize the value in embracing our diversity and allowing the possibility of a lot of solutions coming together to confront challenges that we’re surely going to face. I think we’re on the cutting edge. It’s a good thing for Rapid. It’s a good thing for representation.”

District 32 will run from a community housing development just north of I-90 to central and southern parts of Rapid City.

Lawmakers passed new political boundaries Wednesday using new census data. The map is now on the governor’s desk.

Old district lines
Old district lines

Lee Strubinger is SDPB’s Rapid City-based news and political reporter. A former reporter for Fort Lupton Press (CO) and Colorado Public Radio, Lee holds a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.