Friday, October 21, 2011

Redistricting justice & voting power

Our schools have failed to educate the public about the power of the vote stolen in gerrymandering legislative districts, including city council districts.

The power in redistricting should only go one direction, toward justice and fairness. The districts should be compact and centered on authentic communities of interest, which are often still communities that share a common ethnic and racial heritage. As integration and inclusion continue, race and ethnic heritage will be less and less of a devisive factor for our children and grandchildren, many of who will be multi-racial and multi-cultural.

When you have a city that is 29% white, 25% black and 42% Hispanic, those proportions should be reflected in the ethnic/racial majority distribution in the 14 city council districts. (That is not happening in the new map for Dallas.) That is the foundation for justice. Then, in the election booth, we will see a reflection of the voting numbers and the real power. That is where citizenship will count, not in redistricting.

The real power should be in the voting booth, not at the redistricting table, unless there is an injustice committed in redistricting! Unjust redistricting happens as the power of the vote is manipulated by one political party or another. Redistricting should be for justice, the foundation on which we have equal access to voting, the avenue to power.

Unjust redistricting moves the power from the voting booth to the redistricting table. That is not democracy. That is not what our soldiers are dying to defend. The only so-called “power” in redistricting is a negative power, the power of injustice, the power to manipulate others votes.  Authentic justice redirects that power in redistricting back to the voting booth, where it should be.

As more and more citizens realize how their votes are compromised by gerrymandering during redistricting, the anger will grow. Transparency will allow that awareness to spread. The end of gerrymandering is within sight.

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