The following press release is from Sen. Donald McEachin. I strongly support him on this!
Richmond — Today, Senator A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) endorsed Senator Mamie Locke’s (D-Hampton) amended plan for Congressional redistricting. Senator McEachin said, “This amended plan, to be introduced by Senator Locke today, is an excellent one and far superior to the politically motivated, incumbent protection plan introduced by Delegate Janis. By every objective measure, Senator Locke’s plan is a significant improvement.
“Her plan, overall, contains far more compact districts. As matter of fact, both commonly accepted scales used to measure compactness in redistricting, the Reock Scale and the Polsby-Popper Scale, find the Locke proposal to be significantly better. On the Reock Scale, Senator Locke’s plan is over 10% improvement (3.01 Janis vs. 3.44 Locke) and on Polsby-Popper scale, the improvement approaches 10% (1.75 Janis versus 1.88 Locke).
“The following districts are appreciably more compact under Senator Locke’s plan:
· The Third District which, in the Janis plan, goes from South Hampton Roads through the suburbs of Henrico will be totally contained in Hampton Roads in Senator Locke’s proposal.
· The Seventh District, in the Janis plan, goes from Culpeper in the west, but in the Locke proposal, is almost all contained in the Richmond metropolitan area.
· The Fifth district, under the Janis bill, goes from the North Carolina border to the northernmost point of Fauquier County. In the Locke legislation, the district ends approximately forty miles further south in the Town of Culpeper.
“Senator Locke’s plan reunites several communities of interest which had been egregiously divided in Delegate Janis’ incumbency protection proposal. Roanoke and Salem, which had been split, are reunited and contained within one district.
Alleghany County is reunited with Bath and Highland in the Sixth Congressional District.
“Both the Third and the Seventh are self-contained communities of interest under Senator Locke’s plan.
“Virginia voters do not want incumbency protection. They want competitive districts where their votes matter. In Senator Locke’s legislation, several of the districts are more competitive than under the Republican plan, including the Third, Fifth and Ninth.
“I recognize that the Locke plan creates another minority influence district and our minority population demonstrates that need. While it accomplishes that, it also meets these other important criteria.
“Senator Locke did not sit in a backroom with incumbent politicians to draw her plan. She met with voters, she has amended her plan at the suggestion of voters and she has created a plan that in many critical ways is significantly superior to the politically motivated incumbency protection plan put forth by Delegate Janis.”