(Indianapolis) Today, Common Cause Indiana announced that they have formed a diverse and politically balanced citizens redistricting commission as an independent alternative to the partisan-controlled process led by the Indianapolis City County Council. The Indianapolis Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC) is based on a similar project sponsored last year to impact Congressional and state redistricting.
The ICRC has nine members: three Republicans, three Democrats and three individuals who are neither Republican nor Democrat. The group will hold virtual public hearings to take testimony on how the current districts impact communities and voters across the city and the information gathered from these hearings will be used to inform the drawing of a “citizens map.”
ICRC members will join Common Cause Indiana and other voting rights advocates in urging the members of the Indianapolis City County Council to pass the citizens map that will be developed through their open and transparent process with an emphasis on keeping communities of interest intact and enhancing political competition when possible. The ICRC drawn maps will also undergo Voting Rights Act analysis to ensure that the voting rights of BIPOC voters are protected in the new districts.
The members of the Indianapolis Citizens Redistricting Commission are:
- Former Indianapolis City County Council member Bob Massie who is currently a film maker and the founder of Naptown Media
- Small business owner Tasha Phelps who has been the President of the Washington Township Republican Women’s Club
- Mental health therapist Nick Orange who also serves part-time as a minister of a church in Noblesville
- Jeff Davis, a retiree from Perry Township who is a volunteer for food banks in the community
- Ashley Hogue, Director of Purpose of Life Academy and a member of Concerned Clergy
- Kay Kenney, retired nurse who has pursued a writing career in her retirement
Neither Republican nor Democrat: Mat Davis, works at UPS and a founder of the Indiana Racial Justice Alliance
- Andra Liepa, a retired human resource professional who is a member of the League of Women Voters and NETWORK, a Catholic social justice lobby.
- Bill Ryerson, a retiree who has served on his neighborhood association board for more than thirty years.
“We’re looking forward to working with this group of Indianapolis residents to stimulate a grassroots discussion about how Council districts should be redrawn to better reflect the growing diversity of Indianapolis neighborhoods, said Julia Vaughn, Executive Director of Common Cause Indiana. “Fair redistricting will ensure that no matter what we look like or where we live in Marion County, we have an equal opportunity to make our voice heard and our vote really matters.”