Blue Dogs Move to End ‘Rigged’ Redistricting Process

December 18, 2018 by TWN Staff

On Tuesday, incoming Blue Dog Co-Chairs—Reps. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01), Lou Correa (CA-46), and Rep.-elect Anthony Brindisi (NY-22)—sent a letter to House Speaker-Designate Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Leader-Designate Steny Hoyer, calling for H.R. 1 to include significant redistricting reform, a longtime priority of the Blue Dog Coalition. Specifically, incoming Blue Dog leadership called for H.R. 1 to include H.R. 712, John Tanner Fairness in Redistricting Act, a bill that was introduced by Rep. Jim Cooper (TN-05) and endorsed by the Blue Dog Coalition. The Blue Dogs have been longtime advocates of redistricting reform as a way to combat the blatant gerrymandering of districts across the country.

“Partisan redistricting has made too many politicians beholden to their political party over the interests of the communities they represent. Redistricting shouldn’t be about power for one party over the other; it should ensure that the American people are accurately represented,” said Correa in sending the letter.

Read the full text of the letter here:

 

Dear Speaker-Designate Pelosi & Leader-Designate Hoyer,

As the newly elected leadership of the Blue Dog Coalition for the 116th Congress, we write on behalf of the Coalition to strongly recommend that H.R. 1 contain significant redistricting reform provisions.

The Blue Dog Coalition has endorsed the John Tanner Fairness in Redistricting Act (H.R. 712), legislation introduced by Congressman Jim Cooper that continues to be a priority for our Coalition. Named for former Congressman John Tanner, a Member who championed the measure for many years before his retirement from the House in 2010, the John Tanner Fairness in Redistricting Act removes politics and partisanship from the congressional redistricting process. Under the bill, each state is required to establish an independent, bipartisan redistricting commission to redraw congressional district lines once every 10 years that reflect contiguous communities. These districts of contiguous communities would replace highly gerrymandered districts.

Today, many states are represented by Congressional delegations that do not reflect the ideological balance of those states. This is the direct result of politicians unfairly drawing maps with their reelections in mind, hand-picking their voters. Our new Democratic Majority must act and end partisan gerrymandering to preserve our democracy. As former Attorney General Eric Holder wrote, “Gerrymandering is destructive to the representative democracy that our founders envisioned.” It is the Coalition’s strong belief that we cannot meaningfully regain the trust of voters or the American people without tackling gerrymandering and its toxic effects on our democracy.

Our Coalition respectfully urges you to ensure redistricting reform is included in H.R. 1 as the package moves forward. We look forward to continue working with you to advance an agenda that is based on our shared values and guarantees results for the American people.

Sincerely,

###

The Blue Dog Coalition is an official caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives comprised of fiscally-responsible Democrats, who are leading the way to find commonsense solutions. They are pragmatic Democrats, appealing to the mainstream values of the American public. The Blue Dogs are dedicated to pursuing fiscally-responsible policies, ensuring a strong national defense for our country, and transcending party lines to get things done for the American people. Visit our website to learn more, and get the latest news updates by following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook.

 

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