Home Virginia Politics Video: Del. Mark Levine Explains Why He Believes Current Redistricting Amendment “Is...

Video: Del. Mark Levine Explains Why He Believes Current Redistricting Amendment “Is Worse Than Current Law”

Levine prefers a law that requires "fair maps" and "proportional representation" for 2021, then work on constitutional amendment for 2031.

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See below for video, as Del. Mark Levine (D-Alexandria/Arlington) methodically walks through his reasoning as to why the proposed Virginia redistricting amendment – the one passed for the first time in the 2019 General Assembly session and will be up for a vote again in 2020 – isn’t just “imperfect,” but that it’s “worse than current law, because it allows people [on the Virginia Supreme Court] appointed by the illegally gerrymandered Republican majority to choose the districts.” Del. Levine also explains, very well, the “reason why gerrymandering is wrong.”

“Never forget, and they really got this wrong at 1VA2021, the reason why gerrymandering is wrong is NOT because districts are squiggly…[because] they look funky…no. What…we only want paintings to be square? That’s not why they’re wrong. Gerrymandering is wrong because it’s unrepresentative, because a minority can control a majority, because the lines don’t represent the people. That’s what makes it wrong, not that the lines are squiggly…I want fair maps, I want proportional representation. That’s fair. I want maps that reflect Virginia, the people of Virginia. That’s not what they want…They don’t define fair maps as representative, democratic maps. No no. They define maps as communities of interest…They basically want random districts…well, random as I pointed out favors Republicans, because Democrats live close to each other in cities, that’s just the facts…”

Del. Levine continues to explain why the current amendment has “totems of democracy” – it “looks fair but it really isn’t.” And Del. Levine makes a key point, that this is NOT a choice between the redistricting amendment and nothing, but that the legislature can pass a “regular bill in 2020” that determines how redistricting is done in 2021, then work on a “really good constitutional amendment in time for 2031.”