A group of Virginians have started Fair Districts, a political action committee (PAC) created to oppose Amendment 1.
Amendment 1 — supported by FairMapsVA, a separate PAC — will create a citizen-led committee to lead redistricting in the state.
Fair Districts claims that while the proposed amendment is being presented as against gerrymandering, it would actually “enshrine gerrymandering in Virginia’s Constitution.”
“There’s a false sense that this amendment is non-partisan redistricting or independent redistricting, when the reality is it is neither,” said Del. Lashrecse Aird (D-63-Petersburg). “Working with others, we will make sure that voters know that a yes vote on Amendment 1 will guarantee politicians will not only be involved in the redistricting process, but will still control the redistricting progress. We believe that voters should pick their representatives, not the other way around.”
Members of Fair Districts also including Jamaa Bickley-King, the co-founder, chair, and president of New Virginia Majority, and Fairfax County businessman Chris Ambrose. Both align themselves with the Democratic Party.
Brian Cannon, the executive director for FairMapsVA, said that the new PAC’s representation of the amendment is misleading.
“Vote no and trust the Democrats and the legislature to draw fair maps next year,” Cannon said of Fair Districts’ stance. “For too long, the redistricting process has been an insider game.”
Cannon said the amendment, which he said has been supported by every newspaper in Virginia, will prevent redistricting from happening in a “smoky backroom.” He also said that vote yes for Amendment 1 will be a vote for bipartisan reform and for fair maps in 2021.
“Every place Democrats are in charge, you see Democrats opposing reform,” Cannon said.
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter at The Michigan Star and Star News Digital Media. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]