The Virginia Redistricting Commission has its first resignation. On Tuesday at the Commission’s first in-person meeting Republican Citizen Member Marvin Gilliam announced his departure. His replacement will be selected from candidates already identified by Senate Minority Leader Thomas Norment (R-James City.)
Gilliam, participating virtually, didn’t say why he was resigning. He said, “I’ve just enjoyed my time here. I wish I could have met people in person. It would have been much more fulfilling I think. But I do wish everyone good luck moving forward, you have a difficult task ahead of you, and I wish you the best.”
Staff will contact the other finalists from Norment’s list to see if any are still willing to serve. Then, the commission will select Gilliam’s replacement. The Virginia Public Access Project reported that Gilliam was the only member from southwest Virginia or from west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Commission Co-Chair Greta Harris said, “Because time is of the essence and there are lots of meetings and lots of work that needs to happen over the next few weeks and months, we want to get that citizen identified, help get them up to date as we continue to look forward.”
Staffers also instructed the 16-member commission on in-person procedures. No proxy voting is allowed, and although members can teleconference in in an emergency, a quorum must be physically present in the meetings. For the commission, a quorum requires a majority of legislators and a majority of citizen members present, or five legislative members and five citizen members present.
In addition to written comment, on-site public comment is also now possible, and the commission is announcing several regional public hearings where the public can comment on locally significant redistricting issues.
Two hearings are scheduled for next week, one in-person on July 13 at 5:30 p.m. at Longwood University in Farmville, and one held virtually on Virginia’s West-Central region on July 15 at 2 p.m.
There will be on-site registration to participate in the in-person meeting, but members of the public who wish to speak in the virtual meeting must register on the commission’s website 24 hours in advance. To submit written comment, the public can email [email protected]ginia.gov.
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