Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dallas City Council Redistricting Process: an exercise of the freedoms we U.S. citizens enjoy

Last week a question was sent out by the Dallas Morning News: "Who has done the most with the freedom we have been given?" My response was one of the 18 published yesterday. On this fourth of July weekend we have much to celebrate!

Bill Betzen of Dallas: The Dallas City Council Redistricting Commission is a demonstration of freedom of speech in action. At every one of its weekly meetings, members dedicate time to allow public comment on any aspect of the City Council redistricting process and the drawing of boundaries. They listen and ask questions. The commission’s web site,, has ample documentation to explain the redistricting process and demonstrates the transparency that rules every action. This is democracy at its best. Dallas can be proud.
Hopefully, the redistricting process used by the Dallas City Council will continue to be improved and become a model for all redistricting processes nationwide. 

It is a very tedious and labor intensive process, as is evident in the 50 or so hours of video taped Dallas City Council Redistricting Commission meetings that are already recorded and online for the public to see. This is transparency as it should be.

Such transparency and public input are critical to restore the confidence needed to bring voters back to the polls. Voters need to know that their vote makes a greater difference now than at any time in our gerrymandered past! 

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