Redistricting Reform Advocates: 'We Are Not Going Anywhere'

Feb 22, 2017

Advocates for redistricting reform had a message for lawmakers today at the Statehouse: “We’re not going anywhere.”

About 30 people, including representatives from six different advocacy groups, gathered to protest the collapse of redistricting reform efforts this session.

Crafted after a two years of study, House Bill 1014 had overwhelming support from those who attended an Elections Committee hearing, but Committee Chairman Milo Smith didn’t call it for a vote.

Common Cause Indiana’s Julia Vaughn says advocates are working to create a bipartisan redistricting reform caucus within the General Assembly and to engage the business community.

“With beefed up grassroots organizing and more legislators working inside the process,” Vaughn says, “we are determined to pass legislation to create a citizens redistricting commission.”

Vaughn says advocates will continue pushing for redistricting reform in the next legislative session.

One woman in the audience held a sign with a call to “vote no” on gerrymandering and Elections Committee Chairman Milo Smith. Many who attended sported blue ribbons that read “Women for Change.”

Martha Lamkin, a member of Women for Change, says state and local elections are the foundation of American democracy.

“The establishment of an independent redistricting commission could increase confidence in the integrity of our elections and in the fair representation of all Hoosiers,” Lamkin says.