Reform Gerrymandering – The New Civil Rights Movement
House Democrats Introduce A Bill To Reform Gerrymandering – The New Civil Rights Movement
>by: Jean Ann Esselink | May 14, 2015 3:52 PM | Noteworthy RePost: 05/16/2015 4:21:44 AM |
“What we see now is too often a troubling reality in which politicians choose their voters instead of voters picking their elected officials.” – Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
A group of 19 House Democrats have signed onto a bill that would reform the practice of gerrymandering – drawing congressional districts to favor one party over another. USA Today reports:
“The bill would require each state to establish an independent, multi-party commission that would redraw the state’s congressional maps. Commissioners would have to prove they have no conflicts of interest and would be charged with redrawing lines so they comply with voting rights law and be geographically contiguous and compact.”
Reliably liberal California congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, has taken point in moving the legislation through committee and onto the floor, a task which, given the current Republican electoral strategy of voter suppression, will be akin to Sisyphus shouldering his boulder up the hill.
Partisan gerrymandering has been done so long and so well, competitive districts are a now rarity and not the rule. As things stand, only about 25 of the 435 congressional seats are considered competitive for 2016, but until Republicans are no longer in charge, it will be difficult to gain any traction. Republicans, because of their highly gerrymandered districts, are favored to maintain control of the House until 2022.
In what is supposed to be a representative democracy “of the people,” only unlimited campaign money has had a more destructive effect on our government than gerrymandering. It not only has made incumbents almost impossible to unseat, it has pulled candidates to the right or left and made them able to be more rigid in their social policy views, because they don’t have to please a wide spectrum of voters. Getting rid of gerrymandering means more centrist candidates.
It’s likely that this bill, and others like it, will have to crash down Capitol Hill a few times before a bipartisan group forms that can push it to the floor. At least Rep. Lofgren and her band of nineteen Democratic optimists have made a start. What they need now is to make some noise; whip up popular support. Because outside the political class, ending gerrymandering is overwhelmingly popular among voters from both parties.
That’s a long-term advantage Republicans can’t gerrymander away.
This is a major problem in America – today! Congressional Republicans are a major problem in America and we blew an opportunity to eliminate many in the Southern States this past November Election 2014… Think about that! Question that move?