Bills aimed at reforming Maryland’s redistricting process are receiving hearings in General Assembly committees this week. Identical legislation sponsored in the House by Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez and in the Senate by Senator Delores Kelley would require legislators to adhere to the same criteria when drawing congressional districts as is required in the drawing of General Assembly districts. Legislators must draw General Assembly districts that are compact, contiguous, and that keep communities together to the extent possible. Currently, congressional districts are manipulated for partisan advantage with zigzagging boundaries that make sense only to those in power.
Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District, one of the most gerrymandered in the country, was once described by a federal judge as resembling “a broken-winged pterodactyl lying prostrate across the center of the state.” As a result, it only seemed appropriate to allow two small and cute pterodactyls to stand up for reform.
See testimony from our prehistoric allies here:
The coalition also testified in support of legislation co-sponsored by four delegates (Afzali, R-4; Flanagan, R-9; McComas, R-34; and Miele, R-8) that would create a new bipartisan process for drawing district lines. The coalition called on Gov. Hogan to follow through on his commitment to create a bipartisan commission to assess Maryland’s current redistricting system and recommend reforms.
Watch the rest of the testimony below: