What can I do? Here's something that takes 10 minutes!

reading newspaperGerrymandering is obviously an obstacle to getting reasonable representative government. It’s going to take a long time and a lot of work to fix, and the special interests will not go quietly. It can be daunting to even think about getting a rules change, no matter how reasonable the change would be.

But here’s something you can do right now, this minute. The State of Ohio has a Constitutional Modernization Committee underway that is accepting ideas and listening to testimony about practical ways to reform state and Congressional-level redistricting. Based on reports by local press and bloggers the committee is not off to a great start: this could easily turn into a smoke screen for a “bi-partisan” arrangement that just locks the two incumbent parties’ operatives into secure positions.

But the committee does ask for suggestions for the public here. Why don’t you take a minute and tell them that you want some form of “Hands-Off” redistricting. Tell them that you don’t see any reason for politicians to be involved in redistricting at all, and that there are a variety of pragmatic and fair ways to do redistricting these days. Point them to the OPRA YouTube presentation, or Brian Olson’s blog and results.

Hands-off redistricting will become reality when it becomes politically dangerous for politicians to oppose it. Let them know you’re watching, and force them to argue that politician-drawn districts are superior to hands-off approaches. Take a few minutes to make your own case for hands-off redistricting, and I’ll follow the discussion in Ohio in future posts.

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3 Responses to What can I do? Here's something that takes 10 minutes!

  1. irmabob says:

    I went to Ohio, filled out every optional as well as required boxes, left a comment, submitted, and got an error message and a blank screen. It may be me, it may be their site, but I can’t sit at the screen all day redoing what I carefully did. Have you had better results? Any suggestions? Irma

  2. irmabob says:

    I am a former Ohioan now involved in working to reform redistricting in the US. Kudos to the Buckeye State for efforts to get the public involved in the process. I have discovered a proposal that is well worth serious consideration by your Constitutional Modernization Commission. This is a transparent, census-based plan that achieves equal population in the most compact possible districts. Watch the seven-minute video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwE5twJj4Kw. While “Hands Off Redistricting first version” could use some tweaking (translation of mathematical terms into plain English), that could be done easily by your state committee. This is a sane proposal that could gain the interest and support of Ohioans, who, like other ordinary voters across the country, are fed up with gerrymandering. I’d be proud to see you adopt some semblance of this plan and become a model for other states. Good luck with your work.
    Irma Shainberg Sheon

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