Earlier today, a panel of national and local redistricting experts briefed the media on the current state play in Connecticut’s redistricting cycle. The group of experts described how and why a fair redistricting process should be conducted, and how Connecticut’s current process misses the mark when it comes to transparency and public engagement. The panelists also covered Connecticut’s historic move to end prison gerrymandering, extending the right to equal representation to many more people.
In case you missed today’s media briefing, you can find the video link to the recording here.
Select quotes from the briefing, in order of speakers, are below.
Regarding the importance of fair redistricting:
“Redistricting is the single most important voting and elections issue in Connecticut this year. Fair redistricting is how we secure free and fair elections and elected leaders who will be accountable for delivering resources for better schools, a stronger economy, and affordable healthcare, and so much more. Everyone in Connecticut has a right to participate in this important democratic process, regardless of race, zip code, or political affiliation,” said Suzanne Almeida, redistricting and representation Counsel at Common Cause.
Regarding the importance of public participation in redistricting:
“Redistricting will determine the fate of free and fair elections in Connecticut for the next decade and the voters deserve to have a say in the process. It’s concerning that state leaders have yet to share with the public how they plan to conduct a fair and transparent process. We ask that the newly charged Redistricting Commission start communicating how the public will be able to meaningfully participate,” said Cheri Quickmire, executive director of Common Cause in Connecticut.
Regarding the significance of ending prison gerrymandering:
“In a strong and healthy democracy, each one of us has a right to fair and equitable representation in our government. Prison gerrymandering distorts our democracy, unfairly diminishing the voting power of thousands of our friends, family, and neighbors to have a say in the decisions that impact their lives. Connecticut joins a growing number of states working to correct the injustice of prison gerrymandering and restore representation for thousands,” said Keshia Morris Desir, census and mass incarceration project manager at Common Cause.