Voting is kind of my thing. Election Day is my favorite day of the year. I love the action. I love what all of us together raising our voices symbolizes. It’s a moment where we’re all equal.
Or at least, it should be. But when political district lines are rigged to ensure a predetermined outcome (a process called gerrymandering), we all lose. As with so many things, gerrymandering is firmly rooted in white supremacy and the communities disproportionately impacted are those of color. Twice in the last decade, federal courts struck down political maps in Virginia for unconstitutionally packing black voters into a few districts to limit their impact. In other words, the maps were racist.
In 2020, we have the opportunity to fix the way Virginia draws district maps. But, while much attention has been given to who draws the maps, how they are drawn is just as important. Without clear and strong protections for communities of color and strong transparency provisions, even impartial map drawers could screw up. Why? Because race neutral is not race equitable. Communities of color must have the opportunity to provide input into the maps and laws must guard against repeating our long history of racial discrimination.
Agree? Then we could use your help. Delegate Marcia Price and Senator Jennifer McClellan have introduced bills to promote these goals and they’re up for a vote soon. Please contact your legislators today and ask them to support them!