Members of the All IN for Democracy coalition urged state leaders to “rebuild the fabric of democracy” by passing independent redistricting legislation at a lobby day held at the Indiana State Museum and the Indiana Statehouse today. The lobby day took place two days after the opening of the new state legislative session and featured issue briefings and citizen lobbyists calling on state leaders to approve an impartial redistricting process in the state.
“During the debate over redistricting last fall, Hoosiers from across the state denounced the current process that allows politicians to choose their voters,” said Julia Vaughn Executive Director of Common Cause Indiana, a coalition co-founder. “The people recognize that legislative-controlled redistricting will always focus on partisan politics and if we want districts that serve the voters and communities, we’ve got to put a citizens commission in charge.”
The lobby day featured the initial construction of both an actual and virtual “Democracy Quilt”. To send a clear message about the need to rebuild the fabric of democracy through redistricting and other voting reforms, activists contributed fabric squares to the physical quilt with messages about why fair maps are important to them. These will be stitched together over the course of the legislative session, beginning on January 6. A virtual quilt was also being constructed and lobby day participants recorded messages for the virtual quilt project.
Linda Hanson, Co-President of the League of Women Voters of Indiana said, “Last year thousands of Hoosiers got involved in redistricting, a huge increase from the past. That’s because people now understand how fundamentally important fair maps are to a functioning and healthy democracy. The key to rebuilding our frayed democracy is redistricting reform, and the League of Women Voters of Indiana is excited about the new approach our coalition is pursuing and the grassroots energy around this most important issue.”
This year, the All IN for Democracy coalition is working with Senator Fady Qaddoura (D-Indianapolis) on a different approach than reform advocates have taken in the past. The coalition is supporting a resolution sponsored by Senator Qaddoura that would amend the Indiana Constitution and put responsibility for redistricting in the hands of a politically balanced citizens commission.