For Immediate Release: June 7, 2011
For Additional Information: Contact Janice Thompson at 503-283-1922
Common Cause Oregon commends bipartisan cooperation on drawing new legislative district maps, urges review for sweetheart gerrymandering, and continuation of meaningful public input.
"The spirit of bipartisan cooperation seen during the impressive number of hearings, including opportunities for public input on draft maps, has resulted in a consensus map for legislative districts," said Janice Thompson, Executive Director of Common Cause Oregon.
"It impossible to draw one map that will keep everybody happy with compromises being both inevitable and needed," continued Thompson. "This consensus plan does need to be reviewed for sweetheart gerrymandering that puts political interests of both parties ahead of meeting other redistricting criteria."
The commitment of redistricting committee members to obtaining public input is applauded, as is the great work by staff on organizing hearings and providing online opportunities for public review of maps. The new proposal for state house and senate districts are available at http://www.leg.state.or.us/redistricting/
The new maps now need to be translated into legislation. In the past this has meant a final public hearing dominated by legislators just explaining the plan. "We urge that the hearing to introduce redistricting legislation also include meaningful opportunities for public input," said Thompson. "The number of hearings thus far have been unprecedented and this level of public involvement should be continued to the end of the legislative process."
If bipartisan cooperation doesn't result in a consensus for how to draw new lines for congressional districts, that job goes to the federal courts.
Office: Common Cause Oregon
Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.