Politico reported Tuesday that former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, with the support of President Barack Obama, is building the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. One of the states they propose to operate in is Virginia in the 2017 election.
Speaking about the Politico report, Brian Cannon, executive director of OneVirginia2021, said:
“We hope this means the NDRC will be joining the groups of reformers pushing for genuinely non-partisan redistricting. Winning a seat at the table isn’t enough – leaders must use that seat to champion meaningful reform. Any efforts to gerrymander – by either party – creates an arms race to the bottom where the casualties are the voters who are taken for granted and the communities that are carved up.”
“States as diverse as Ohio, Idaho, California, Washington and many others have proven we can redistrict without the hyper-partisanship that now dominates our politics. We have built bipartisan support for reform in both chambers of Virginia’s General Assembly. I know voters will be disappointed if this turns out to be another group playing partisan political games in a broken system.”
In fact, just this past January, President Obama joined a long line of presidents like Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and John F. Kennedy in calling for an end to gerrymandering. Particularly illuminating was President Obama’s willingness to go to Illinois – a state gerrymandered by Democrats – and call for reform in a speech to the Illinois General Assembly on February 10, 2016. In Springfield, President Obama stated:
“In America, politicians should not pick their voters; voters should pick their politicians. And this needs to be done across the nation, not just in a select few states. It should be done everywhere.”
OneVirginia2021: Virginians for Fair Redistricting was founded on the principle that districts belong to the voters, not to any politician, political party, or special interest group.