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One Virginia 2021

For the first time a hybrid commission chaired by a citizen and consisting of eight Virginia voters and eight lawmakers will draw state and federal district lines in 2021. We're supporting their continued effort to make sure people, not politicians, are drawing the maps.

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Independent Redistricting

Background

Started in 2014, the campaign to end partisan gerrymandering in Virginia won an overwhelming victory in 2020 with 66% of voters supporting a constitutional amendment to establish a first of its kind commission to draw state and federal district lines. The policy was passed after a bipartisan legislative coalition — with unanimous Republican support and a few key Democratic votes — referred the policy to the ballot. 

The Policy

For the first time a hybrid commission chaired by a citizen and consisting of eight Virginia voters and eight lawmakers will draw state and federal district lines in 2021. The commission will also need to follow strict standards to ensure districts are not gerrymandered and all populations have equitable access to representation. The commission will need a supermajority of six legislators and six citizens to approve both sets of maps to prevent a Special Master being appointed by the state supreme court from drawing the maps. 

2021 Priorities

The organization is working to implement the new policy and focused on three priorities:

  1. Recruiting citizen commissioners (complete). After reviewing 1,200+ applications, a panel of retired judges appointed six citizens to the commission; the co-chairs are Greta Harris (D), the CEO of the Greater Richmond Better Housing Coalition, and Mackenzie Babachinko (R), a ten-year veteran prosecutor;

  2. Guaranteeing public participation in the process. The success of the commission depends on active citizen engagement in the process to ascertain where communities of interest exist and what the natural boundaries are for a district. OneVirginia2021 will sub-grant to community organizations to host hearings and invest in both paid and earned media to promote hearings and increase turnout;
  3. Deterring partisan attempts to bias the commission. Both parties will seek to influence the commission and the organization’s efforts will focus on tracking that activity, calling it out, and activating the public to push back when efforts are made to manipulate maps.

News

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One Virginia 2021

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