The Virginia Redistricting Coalition
is a non-partisan coalition advocating for redistricting reform in Virginia
The Virginia Redistricting Coalition proposes reform based on two main principles:
- 1.Creating a Balanced and Capable Commission - "The Coalition supports methods of choosing a Commission to do redistricting which results in either an independent Commission or a bipartisan commission which is not polarized between two camps of partisan activists. Polarized Commissions will end up in maps that protect incumbents in both parties." They stress bipartisan appointment, fair leadership, and citizen participation.
- 2. Drawing Fair Districts
- Drawing initial maps - "...the Commission should draw initial maps which are compact; contiguous; equal in population; in compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act; encompassing communities of interest; and respectful of existing political subdivisions."
- Controlling gerrymandering - "The Commission should be prohibited from using voting history data or incumbent addresses during the initial map drawing, nor can it draw maps to favor one party. It should be able to preserve the geographic core of existing districts."
- Ensuring fairness - "...the Commission should review state Board of Elections voting history and incumbent addresses to ensure that the maps are fair and comply with the law."
- Hearing public comment - "The Commission should release draft maps and hold public meetings across the state to hear public comment on it."
- Preserving the traditional role of the General Assembly - "The General Assembly should have the final say on map approval. However, the Commission should stay involved in the process as long a possible..."
- Protecting minority rights
C. Douglas Smith serves as Chairman of the Virginia Redistricting Coalition. He is the Executive Director of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy.
The following groups are members of the Virginia Redistricting Coalition:
- AARP Virginia
- Future of Hampton Roads
- Greater Norfolk Corporation
- Greater Richmond Chamber Of Commerce
- League of Women Voters of Virginia
- Richmond First Club
- Virginia Business Council
- Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
- Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy
- Virginia League of Conservation Voters
- Virginia Organizing Project