Home Virginia Politics Potential Gerrymandering of 31st State Senate District Stirs Up Hornet’s Nest

Potential Gerrymandering of 31st State Senate District Stirs Up Hornet’s Nest

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Earlier today, the Washington Post Virginia Politics blog reported on State Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw’s “possible plan to redraw Whipple’s seat in redistricting next month so that it would include new precincts in McLean and Great Falls.” Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, who is retiring from the seat after this year, is quoted as opining that redistricting in this way would be “advantageous to us, obviously,” as it would “make some of our very Democratic districts somewhat less Democratic.” The reaction to this potential gerrymandering? A few choice quotes:

*The Post article quotes blogger and potential 31st State Senate district candidate, Ben Tribbett, who says he is “outraged by the plans of Senator Saslaw to dilute the youth voter influence in the 31st district by running the district through McLean and Great Falls.”

*On NLS’ Facebook page, Miles Grant comments sarcastically that “Someone should really tell Arlington Economic Development that young professionals aren’t really all that important” (http://www.arlingtonvirginiausa.com/docs/creativeclass.pdf).

*On Facebook, Democratic/progressive activist Aimee Fausser adds:

See, what I want to know is if MMW, Saslaw, etc. have walked down the street in Arlington lately. Really, young professionals won’t be impacted??

Please do run, Ben, even if this goes down, the leadership needs to be held accountable.

*Also on Facebook, former ACDC Chair Peter Rousselot writes:

There is a complete logical non sequitur between MMW’s concession that the new 31st Senate District might well extend far, far beyond the NW borders of Arlington County and her parallel effort to argue that, even if that turns out to be true, there will be no dilution of voting power of young voters in the RB Corridor compared to the current boundaries of the 31st District. MMW’s statement that “They would not be currently the dominant factor in this district, so I’m not seeing how they would be diluted” is simply wrong. A significant reduction in the voting power of any group is a “significant dilution” whether or not they start out as “the dominant factor”.

*Finally, Brian Devine adds:

I agree with Miles and Aimee. Progressive young professionals shouldn’t be taken for granted and denied deserved representation in richmond

Looks like somebody stirred up a major hornet’s nest on this one. Honestly, it’s hard for me to imagine anyone in Arlington – except perhaps Republicans – being happy about this one.