As Redistricting Gets Underway, NDRC Calls for Fair Maps Accurately Reflecting Will of Virginia Voters
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U.S. Census Bureau today released data that enables Virginia Redistricting Commission to start drawing new legislative maps
Richmond, VA – Following today’s release of population data by the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) is calling on the Virginia Redistricting Commission to accurately reflect the state’s voters when drawing the 2022 congressional map. A fair Virginia map should mirror the state’s increasingly Democratic leanings.
“Virginia is a growing Democratic state and the state’s congressional map should reflect that reality. A fair map must also reflect the growing number of people of color who call Virginia home,” said Kelly Burton, President of NDRC. “As the Virginia Redistricting Commission starts the map drawing process, it must be open and transparent so that Virginia voters have an opportunity to have their voices heard. So far, the Commission has not solicited the necessary public engagement, and that must change before any maps are drawn.”
The new population data released today by the Census Bureau enables the Virginia Redistricting Commission to start the map drawing process.
Congressional and state legislative maps should reflect the state’s population growth and its political makeup. As the Virginia Redistricting Commission starts the 2021 redistricting process, it must keep the large African-American populations in southeastern Virginia from being packed into a single district. In northern Virginia, the Commission must also protect Asian-American, Pacific Islander and Hispanic voters from packing.
Creating more compact districts should be a priority for the commission. The 5th congressional district currently stretches from the North Carolina border all the way to Northern Virginia and should be redrawn to be a central Virginia district including the Southern Piedmont region. This would allow the current 7th congressional district to include Charlottesville and Albemarle County. Charlottesville and Albemarle County, with a more liberal community surrounding the University of Virginia, have more in common with suburban Richmond than rural mountain areas.