GET RID OF GERRYMANDERING
I’m happy to report that the movement to ban gerrymandering keeps gaining speed.
One illustration of that fact is the executive order that Gov. Tony Evers signed on January 27 to create an independent, nonpartisan commission to draw what he calls “the people’s map.” Along with other advocates and activists, I was at the press conference in his office when he signed the order. He deserves our praise for that.
Another illustration is the fact that legislation to give Wisconsin the Iowa Model of redistricting now has five Republican co-sponsors, which is four more than ever before.
The five Republicans, who also deserve our praise, are: Reps. Joel Kitchens, Jeff Mursau, Todd Novak, Loren Oldenburg, and Travis Tranel. The companion bills are Assembly Bill 303 and Senate Bill 288.
Then in January, Rep. Dianne Hesselbein and Sen. Jeff Smith introduced a related proposal (SJR87), this one calling for a constitutional amendment to ban gerrymandering, which the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign also supports.
But most of all, you can feel the momentum at the grassroots. Already, 50 county boards have passed resolutions calling on the Legislature to ban gerrymandering. Voters in 8 counties have passed referendums with the same call for legislative action.
On April 7, nine more counties are holding Fair Maps, referendums: Marquette, Milwaukee, Monroe, Pierce, Portage, Rock, St.Croix, Trempealeau, and Wood.
Fourteen municipalities up north are holding them as well: Arbor Vitae, Boulder Junction, Crescent, Eagle River, Hazelhurst, Lac du Flambeau, Lake Tomahawk, Pelican, Phelps, Pine Lake, Plum Lake, Presque Isle, Rhinelander, and Woodruff.
If you are in any of these places, please vote yes on these referendums in favor of independent, nonpartisan redistricting. On this issue, the people will not be denied.
(Matt Rothschild directs Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. This article is from BIG MONEY BULLETIN, Feb./Mar. 2020.) You can read more at www.wisdc.org.