Statement of Bob Edgar on National Redistricting Reform

Delivered Wednesday, June 24 at a Capitol Hill press conference

Common Cause applauds Representatives John Tanner (D-TN) Michael Castle (R-DE) and Allen Boyd (D-FL) for recognizing that our current process for drawing congressional districts needs an overhaul. As a former member of Congress, I’ve seen firsthand the politics and deal-making that goes on, often behind closed doors, as incumbent politicians and partisan interests attempt to game the system to get the results that they want instead of the fair representation that the voters want.

For nearly four decades, Common Cause has worked in state after state to give the process of redistricting back to the people. Most recently, we led the campaign last fall in California to pass Prop 11, an initiative that created a truly independent citizens commission to draw district lines for the state legislature.

We urge Congress to move forward in addressing the need for redistricting reform. We thank Representatives Tanner, Boyd and Castle for undertaking this difficult and often thankless task. We look forward to working with them, with other members of Congress, and with a broad and diverse coalition of voting rights groups and civic organizations to come up with a process that allows voters to choose their political representatives rather than having politicians choose the voters they want to represent.