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Resolution by the Arlington County Democratic Committee Supporting Non-Partisan Redistricting

WHEREAS gerrymandering, the deliberate manipulation of legislative districts to advantage a particular party or group, distorts the electoral process and undermines democracy;

WHEREAS Virginia’s Congressional and state districts are redrawn every ten years to account for population changes reflected in the national census;

WHEREAS the Virginia Legislature historically has redrawn district lines, resulting in the party in power gerrymandering districts to retain power;

WHEREAS the Supreme Court of the United States held that racial gerrymandering is unconstitutional, but recently declined to rule on the constitutionality of political gerrymandering;

WHEREAS one independent assessment found that Virginia was the fifth most gerrymandered state in the country, both on the congressional and state levels, based on lack of compactness and contiguity of its district, before a federal panel of judges struck down several of Virginia’s House of Delegate districts in 2018 and several congressional district maps in 2016 due to racial gerrymandering;

WHEREAS judicial intervention for racial gerrymandering is an ineffective solution due to its time-intensive nature and fact that districts are redrawn every ten years;

WHEREAS an independent redistricting commission would promote district maps where voters could elect their politicians rather than politicians selecting their voters;

WHEREAS the Arlington Democrats support redistricting reform in Virginia for state legislative and federal congressional districts;

WHEREAS the Arlington Democrats maintain that transparent and non-partisan redistricting reform is essential to build a more trustworthy, accountable, and healthy democracy for our state and nation; and

WHEREAS amending the Virginia Constitution to institute redistricting reform is a multi-year process that must begin in the 2019 legislative session so a commission can begin by the next redistricting period in 2021.

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Arlington Democrats fully support an independent redistricting commission to protect and promote democracy in Virginia and call for all members of the 2019 Virginia Legislature to pass a Constitutional Amendment establishing a non-partisan redistricting commission.

Passed and Approved this Resolution on the 9th day of January, 2019.

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