Measure 1: Redistricting is an LGBT Alaskan issue

- a guest post by Maxine Doogan on Ballot Measure 1: a Constitutional Amendment to Increase the Number of Alaska State Legislators and Districts

Redistricting is the process of redrawing congressional and legislative district boundaries to reflect population changes based on the 2010 census information gathered every 10 years. This state constitutional amendment would expand the current State House Representatives from 40 to 44 and the State Senate from 20 to 22. When redistricting is done correctly, it should maximize the impact of one person, one vote. Redistricting is done to make sure no district is larger by population than another. It also groups people with common interest such as belonging to a rural or economic area and is critical in determining the makeup of the governing bodies. Representatives have to make sure that all parts of their district's needs are being served. And the degree of support and opposition to LGBT related legislation could be determined by the redrawing of district line.

One of the concerns for passing this ballot measure is recognizing the difference in population from the bush communities to the larger cities and assuring rural community members continue to get enough representation. If this ballot measure doesn't pass, resources to serve the current population could be spread too thin. If this ballot measure does pass there will be costs incurred for the additional staff, offices and travel. However, we generally don't put a price tag on democratizing representation.

Making sure the redistricting process is democratic is important. This constitutional amendment was put before the voters by bipartisan support and opposed primarily by Republicans. It is our responsibility as part of the LGBT community to ensure the passing of redistricting legislation, as it effects our population and will ensure the voices of all LGBT people get heard. We must ALL turn out our vote and cast our ballots for governor and legislators who support the LGBT community. In doing so, we will decide whether Democrats or Republicans will dominate the State governing bodies and therefore have a say in the redrawing of state and federal political borders for the new decade.

With fair-minded voters voting for fair minded candidates, extremists cannot lock-up or lock-out certain interests for the next decade. Measure 1 needs our immediate response and support to ensure our voice gets heard now and for years to come. If this legislation is blocked by extremists, it will not be good for the LGBT community and the effects will be felt for the next decade. If this constitutional amendment passes, there will be more representation that reflects our best interests and Democrats have traditionally shown the LGBT community that they take our concerns seriously when we care enough to show up at the polls and tell them so.

Early voting and In-Person Absentee Voting is available now. Don't wait till the last minute.

Vote on November 2nd and Vote Blue

No comments:

Copyright © 2008 by Bent Alaska.