Republicans, National Democratic Redistricting Committee, Jerry Mander discussed on The Takeaway

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Corner Redistricting After the contentious 2020 election, Democrats narrowly control both houses of Congress, but the parties will battle it out with the redrawing of congressional maps, which happens once predicted following the census. This process has the potential to influence the balance of power for years to come. Republicans currently have control of redistricting and 18 states, including big ones like Florida, North Carolina and Texas. Seats gained by redistricting alone may be enough to give Republicans a majority in the house in 2022. But the National Democratic Redistricting Committee has been strategizing for this moment For the past four years. I spoke with Kelli Ward Burton, their executive director, and asked her what kinds of things they've been doing to prepare for this moment, our entire model and the reason for NDRC was to create a centralized hub for a comprehensive redistricting strategy. So that we could prepare for this moment that we are now in. You know, we've been very aggressively active in court to sue against the Jerry Mander maps of the last decade, and we've seen some real success on that front. Notably, we got new maps in North Carolina and Virginia, which helped you know the congressional majority that we have now. We also have been trying to move the needle on the power structure of redistricting, both through election. So who has a seat at the table when maps are drawn and also by supporting reforms to make the redistricting process? More fair, You know the ballot initiatives to support independent commissions, statutory reforms, like in Ohio to give a voice to the minority party in the Legislature. And what do you say to Democrats who feel like you know, In some cases, these redistricting commissions might actually give Republicans an advantage. Well, when you look at the redistricting power structure, it's really important to compare 2021 2 2011. So it's not just about the 2020 election. You have to go back and look at how we moved the needle since the last redistricting process, And there has been a lot of movement in the direction of fairness since 2011 and there's there's a number of things that you can point you. For example, this is going to be the first time ever where the majority of congressional seats are drawn by either some type of commission or with some type of reformed effort in place that checks the majority, so the ability of the Republicans to do what they did last time where they had Tri factor control over the redistricting process in the vast majority of states to the tune of 213 congressional seats. That is no longer on the table, You know, Look, we don't want to Jerry Mander for Democrats. We don't think that you need to break the system in our favor. In order for us to win. We want the system to be fair. We want the maps to be fair. We want democracy, toe work. We're not scared of the voters. We want to have a system where we talked to them. We work with them. We make our Case, and then voters have the opportunity to fairly choose, you know, one side or the other. And what we've seen from the Republicans over the course of the last several years, particularly in the last several months is that they're very willing to break democracy in order to maintain power, and we are Watching them very closely on redistricting because they're already indicating that they will use Jerry Mannering in the same way that they've been using voter suppression in the same way that they've been using frivolous lawsuits. You know all these tactics that we've seen from from Trump and other Republicans to maintain power, no matter the cost to democracy they're willing to do that. And you know, Jerry mentoring is a version of that. We really see the fight for fair maps in the context of Protecting and fortifying our democracy. That's how we see it, And I think that's that's an accurate read on the situation. So you know commissions are part of that fairness is part of that fair maps is part of that,.

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