In our Democracy, we are supposed to choose our representatives, not the other way around.
Through gerrymandering, career politicians, supported by the special interests who fund their campaigns, are choosing their constituents and creating districts that protect their incumbency or their party so that they are no longer accountable for their actions. This is a fundamental threat to our Democratic foundations as a country.
Gerrymandering refers to specifically targeting areas based on partisan registration and performance to draw legislative boundaries in such a way as to favor one party over another. This is wrong, and it robs voters of their right to fair and honest representation in our government. I will fight to end gerrymandering and support the creation of a system of drawing legislative districts that is fundamentally fair.
To see just how bad the practice of gerrymandering has become, we don’t need to look any further than our own 7th District. Our Congressional District is considered one of the most gerrymandered congressional districts in the country. The 7th District stretches across 5 counties and subdivides multiple communities. This is ludicrous and has obviously been done in the name of political expediency, and at our expense as the residents of the district.
Gerrymandering makes it more difficult for challengers to provide different options and encourages outside interests to “buy” our candidates because fundraising becomes a larger issue for campaigns. These outside interests can be large corporations, PACs, and even foreign governments and NGOs who may not have our best interests in mind. We need fair districts that encourage public involvement, minimize the distance of citizens to their representatives, and make it possible for all people to have an equal chance to be heard and elected.