Rural Caucus Mission: To nurture connections between communities of people who may, or may not yet, vote Democratic in Virginia’s non-urban areas, to engage local people to determine the issues and priorities that matter to them, and to ensure sustainable rural life and progressive values throughout all of Virginia.
Please save the date for our 3rd Rural Retreat (all Dems, liberals, and progressives – not just rural) where like minded…
RICHMOND – Three identical party-line votes smothered the last breath of redistricting reform for the 2017 General Assembly in a 7 a.m. meeting Tuesday. After the debate invoked an old dispute and deal between two legislators in opposite chambers and opposing parties, the Republican-controlled House Privileges and Elections subcommittee killed two proposed Senate resolutions on 5-2 votes that could have put redistricting reform on the statewide ballot in 2018.
Republican members of the House Privileges and Elections subcommittee voted against reporting one of several redistricting bills they considered during a meeting inside the General Assembly Building in Richmond, VA Tuesday, Feb. 14 2017. Committee members Luke Torian, D-Prince William, and Mark d. Sickles, D-Fairfax, who voted to report the bills and Delegates Margaret B. Ransone, R-Westmoreland, Mark L. Cole, R-Spotsylvania, S. Chris Jones, R-Suffolk and Buddy Fowler, Jr., R-Hanover, voted against the measure.
After the debate invoked an old dispute and deal between two legislators in opposite chambers and opposing parties, the Republican-controlled House Privileges and Elections subcommittee killed two proposed Senate resolutions on 5-2 votes that could have put redistricting reform on the statewide ballot in 2018.
[intense_alert color=”#a39d9d”] A soft call of “shame” rose as SJ 231 died from a crowd asking persistently for reform. The bill carried by Sen. Emmett W. Hanger Jr., R-Augusta, would have created under the state constitution a commission to redraw the lines in 2021 and standards under which they should operate.
The subcommittee also killed SB 846 carried by Sen. L. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, that would have formed an interim redistricting commission to address fallout if Virginia’s congressional and state lines were declared unconstitutional. Two court cases are pending.
The nonprofit OneVirginia2021 rallied support from Virginia residents throughout the 2017 General Assembly, including for a slew of House bills that died mostly on a block vote last month.
A federal judge in Alexandria has issued a preliminary injunction against President Trump’s travel ban, dealing another blow to the White House attempt to bar residents of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.
The executive order, Judge Leonie M. Brinkema concluded, probably violates the First Amendment’s protections for freedom of religion.
[intense_alert] “The ‘Muslim Ban’ was a centerpiece of the president’s campaign for months, and the press release calling for it was still available on his website as of the day this Memorandum Opinion is being entered,” Brinkema wrote.
It’s a well-worn story now about how John A. Boehner, then House minority leader, joined a rising star in his caucus, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, in April 2009 for one of the first major tea party protests in the California Republican’s home town of Bakersfield.
A little more than six years later, after they surfed that wave into power, the movement consumed both of them. Boehner was driven out of the House speaker’s office and McCarthy’s expected succession fell apart, leaving him stuck at the rank of majority leader.
The women’s marches that brought millions onto streets across the country the day after Trump’s inauguration — spurred organically through social media — opened Democratic leaders’ eyes to the possibilities.
Democrats are well aware of that history as they try to tap the energy of the roiling liberal activists who have staged rallies and marches in the first three weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency.
What if they can fuse these protesters, many of whom have never been politically active, into the liberal firmament? What if a new tea party is arising, with the energy and enthusiasm to bring out new voters and make a real difference at the polls, starting with the 2018 midterm elections?
In Virginia, state legislators redraw district lines for the U.S. Congress, the Virginia House of Delegates and the Senate of Virginia after every 10-year census. Under the current system, the party in power in the House and the party in power in the Senate can draw the lines to serve their own interests, not those of our communities.
[intense_blockquote]GERRYMANDERING is the deliberate manipulation of legislative district boundaries to advantage or benefit a particular party or group, or to cause disadvantage or harm to an opposing party or group. It distorts the electoral process, undermines democracy, and renders legislative elections a meaningless exercise. It’s a conflict of interest for the legislature to draw it’s own district lines. [/intense_blockquote]
Virginia is ranked as one of the most gerrymandered states in the country both on the congressional and state levels based on lack of compactness and contiguity of its districts.Virginia is ranked the 5th worst in the country.Throughout the Commonwealth, counties and cities are being broken in half or into multiple pieces to create heavily partisan districts.
Calling your legislator is one of the best ways to influence their opinions on bills and topics. Emailing is a good resource but getting a phone call really makes legislators notice an issue.
I support redistricting reform. I support HJ 763 in the House of Delegates and SJ 290 in the Senate. I do not want voting districts drawn to favor or disfavor any political party or person. These bills would put a stop to political gerrymandering.
Your delegate might say that he/she can’t vote for reform because there’s pending litigation – this is BOGUS. 1. There will be a decision from SCOTUS in the next few weeks in the Bethune-Hill case, which is about racial gerrymandering. 2. Our legislation is for a constitutional amendment – those take two years to pass! If SCOUTS decides something that would affect this legislation (we can’t even think of what that might be), the General Assembly can always kill this bill next year. HJ 763 is a simple and straight-forward solution, and there is no good reason to vote no. We NEED a YES VOTE on HJ763. Call them and let them know. www.onevirginia2021.org/call