Redistricting

“Redistricting” What Nevadans Need To Be Talking About!

Before I get into my commentary on this, I’d like to provide you with the definition of “Gerrymandering” as defined on Wikipedia. This word best describes the process following the U.S. Census work; conducted every 10 years

Gerrymandering:

“is a form of boundary delimitation (redistricting) in which electoral district or constituency boundaries are deliberately modified for electoral purposes, thereby producing a contorted or unusual shape. The resulting district is known as a gerrymander; however, that word can also refer to the process.

Gerrymandering may be used to achieve desired electoral results for a particular party, or may be used to help or hinder a particular group of constituents, such as a political, racial, linguistic, religious or class group.

When used to allege that a given party is gaining disproportionate power, the term gerrymandering has negative connotations. However, a gerrymander may also be used for purposes that some perceive as positive, notably in US federal voting district boundaries which produce a proportion of constituencies with an African-American or other minority in the majority (these are thus called “minority-majority districts”).”

Lets rewind to the year 2001, when I participated and worked on the redistricting efforts at the Nevada State Legislature. What many folks may not know is that “Districts” including, but not limited to Legislative Districts, Congressional Districts, City Council Districts, School Board Districts, County Commission Districts, and others are decided by State Lawmakers. This means that your State Senate and State Assembly ultimately decide how each district will look for the next 10 years. Let me tell you that this process is not only complex, cumbersome, and insanely tedious, but it’s VERY political.

Having said that, if you’re a Republican in Nevada right now and you care about where the state is heading–you may want to be looking into how you can help with redistricting efforts next year. In the interim you should be worried about the fact that Republicans will most likely not control the Nevada State Assembly, and though we’ve got an outside shot at taking back the Nevada State Senate and if trends remain the same we’ll have another GOP Governor–our big problem is that Democrats in the State Assembly can do a lot of damage to our redistricting prospects.

Not to bring you doom and gloom, but having been involved in this process 10 years ago I know it’s tough! Having a “balance of power” in Nevada is very important to the citizens of the state. Even if we win the Governor’s race and Brian Sandoval becomes the next Chief Executive of our state–Sandoval may be facing a veto-proof majority of Democrats in the State Assembly. So, if history tells us anything the Democrats may do what they did 10 years ago and “Gerrymander” district boundaries so folks like Shelley Berkley can forever hold onto her Congressional seats, and draw the State Assembly lines as such to not allow a Republican to get elected in much of the Greater Las Vegas area; we’re in trouble!

What do we do?

My advise right now would be to work your neighborhoods, talk to your friends, and do what you can to elect some Republicans in Nevada’s State Assembly Districts. If we can pick-up a few seats in the State Assembly it will give us a much better chance at a fair and equitable redistricting process. If Republicans however, decide to remain complacent and fail to get out the vote this November–we’ll be looking at 10 more years of Legislative Democratic rule.

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Sunday, September 12th, 2010 Nevada, Politics No Comments
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