Holder Launches New Democratic Redistricting Effort
In speech, Holder details mission and priorities of National Democratic Redistricting Committee
Today, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced the launch of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), which will lead the Democratic Party’s comprehensive redistricting strategy ahead of the 2021 map-drawing process.
During a speech today at the Center for American Progress, Holder laid out 3 key priorities for the group: electing Democratic leaders in key states, advancing proactive legal strategies, and supporting state ballot initiatives. Also today, the NDRC launched its new website, DemocraticRedistricting.com.
The NDRC is the first organization of its kind: A Democratic group that brings together major party organizations on a multi-cycle, state-by-state redistricting strategy ahead of the 2020 Census.
“This redistricting process will be critical to the future of our democracy,” Holder said. “Those who control state governments draw the lines that shape Congress for the next decade. Fixing this redistricting problem will involve not just focusing on the lines, but focusing on the larger effort to win back governance. This is the path to ensuring Democrats have their rightful seats at the table in 2021.”
The NDRC will target races in every election cycle through 2020 – including gubernatorial, state legislative and ballot initiative campaigns where Democrats can produce fairer electoral maps in 2021. Holder highlighted these major focal points in a speech at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, including:
1. ELECTORAL – The NDRC will coordinate and support the critical state-based electoral work led by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and Democratic Governors Association to identify and invest in key down-ballot races with redistricting implications.
2. LEGAL – The NDRC ensures that ongoing infrastructure is in place and adequately resourced to guide a proactive legal strategy using data, technical, and map drawing resources.
3. BALLOT INITIATIVE – The NDRC will support state ballot reforms where this is the best strategy to produce fairer maps.
The committee builds on the work over the past two years by Democratic leaders and progressive groups. Starting after the 2014 elections, Democratic and progressive groups have met regularly to discuss redistricting. The NDRC board consists of:
- Elisabeth Pearson, Democratic Governors Association
- Ali Lapp, House Majority PAC
- Jessica Post, Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee
- Greg Speed, America Votes Action Fund
Other planning has included a DGA/DLCC/DCCC/DNC redistricting summit in December 2015 and a briefing for major Democratic donors at the Democratic National Convention in July 2016.
The NDRC’s comprehensive strategy will ensure Democrats are fully prepared for the redistricting process in 2020. The newly formed committee will also complement and work in conjunction with existing redistricting projects, such as the DGA’s “Unrig the Map” and the DLCC’s “Advantage 2020.”
“Democrats must work together in order to win together,” said Rep. Ben Ray Luján, Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “The official launch of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee will mean a unified and proactive redistricting effort that is essential to our party’s future. Democrats must prepare now to impact down-ballot races each year until 2020, because the American people are tired of Republican gerrymandering that rigs the system, and deserve fairer congressional maps.”
“Electing Democratic governors over the next four years can dramatically reshape the country’s political landscape,” said Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy, Democratic Governors Association Chair. “In 2011, Republicans purposefully skewed the lines and rigged the map against the American people. The results have been clear: nearly a decade of Tea Party obstruction in Congress and devastating policies in states across the country. The NDRC’s investments in governors and state races will help fight back against GOP gerrymandering and invest in the future of the Democratic Party.”
“The NDRC’s coordinated effort is key to making sure Democrats help the American people get the fairest maps and most representative districts possible,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Board Chair Tina Kotek. “Democrats have great opportunities for crucial wins in statehouses over the next four years, and these elections will make a huge difference in shaping the direction of our nation for years to come. Bringing the Democratic community together around this work is absolutely vital to our country’s future.”
“America Votes is committed to building back progressive power from the ground up, and that starts with redistricting,” said America Votes Action Fund President Greg Speed. “The stakes are high. As the coordination hub of the progressive community, AV and our progressive partners plan on working closely with NDRC to ensure that the issues of every American – whether its voting rights, women’s rights or climate change – are adequately represented from the White House to the state House.”