by Andy Schmookler
On Blue Virginia, there have been several articles (see here, here, here, here and here) explaining the important reasons why the Virginia Redistricting Amendment should be rejected by voters in the upcoming election this November.
Unfortunately, most Virginia Democrats are not going to be reading those articles, so the question arises: how can this important message reach enough Democratic voters to sway the results of the vote the right way.
To address that challenge, I’ve consulted with the author of two of those articles – Delegate Mark Levine – to prepare the following brief message, which Del. Levine has endorsed.
The hope is that readers here will utilize their Democratic contacts to spread the word.
My wife, April Moore, and I will be sending the following to the Chairs of the various Democratic committees we know in our part of Virginia, from having run for office out here. We will be asking those Chairs to send these brief calls to action to their email lists.
If others in a position to do so will do likewise, we’ll have a better chance to prevail.
As you’ll see below, Del. Levine describes this as “an uphill battle.” In my communications with Del. Levine, I asked if it was so uphill as to be essentially unwinnable. He responded:
“No! I think we can win it. But we face a multimillionaire lobby financed by shadowy Texas Republicans…Once Democrats understand the amendment, 90% of the audience agrees it’s a bad idea.”
This November, we have an excellent chance of giving Joe Biden Virginia’s electoral votes, and an equally excellent chance of returning Mark Warner to the U.S. Senate. This constitutional amendment, however, threatens to make virtually permanent the theft of power from Virginia voters, transferring it to a Republican Party willing to subvert democracy to gain power. It seems that this election season, the fight to prevent that is one worth putting some energy into.
I hope the readers here will clip the following and take it onto that battlefield.
Delegate Mark Levine (D- Alexandria/Arlington) asks all Democrats to “VOTE NO ON THE GERRYMANDER AMENDMENT ON THE BALLOT THIS FALL.
“There’s a lot of misinformation surrounding the amendment to the Virginia Constitution on redistricting. It claims to defeat gerrymandering, but in fact, it makes Republican gerrymandering of Virginia’s district lines not only possible but far more likely.
“The amendment is not better than nothing. It’s worse than nothing. The legislature in 2021 can choose a nonpartisan, independent commission instead. But the anti-gerrymandering provisions the Democrats have put in the law only take effect if you vote NO, because an ordinary law cannot amend a Constitution. We have an uphill battle to defeat this amendment, and we face a multi-million-dollar lobby financed heavily by Republicans. We will need all hands on deck to stop this impending disaster.”
For a detailed argument on why we should VOTE NO on this amendment, see Del. Levine’s recent piece on Blue Virginia here.