RICHMOND – The Community Idea Stations and OneVirginia2021 are joining forces to produce a statewide public television documentary, OneVirginia2021: Virginians for Fair Redistricting. This one-hour documentary will bring awareness to the impact of gerrymandering, and explore how Virginia can progress from a system where legislators create their own districts toward a system that makes sense for true representative government.
Gerrymandering is the deliberate manipulation of legislative district boundaries for political gain. In Virginia, both Democrats and Republicans have engaged in this practice to distort the electoral process, promote the party in power, and turn competitive districts into non-competitive ones. The Washington Post has called ending gerrymandering “the biggest ethics issue facing the state.”
OneVirginia2021: Virginians for Fair Redistricting will examine the historical context and consequences of gerrymandering through a multi-partisan lens that includes Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians and the Tea Party. The documentary will explore the impact on communities and individual lives by including testimonials from strategists, political consultants, and map drawers, and by incorporating interviews with the men and women in politics who have the most to win - and perhaps lose - through reform.
“Gerrymandering is the enemy of representative government. It deliberately manipulates the system to take away from voters the very choice that should be a hallmark of our system,” says program producer William Oglesby. “We hope with this documentary to help citizens understand that this isn't the way it has to be; that the voters have a right to choose their representatives rather than the representatives choose them.”
In the fall of 2013, a diverse group of citizens came together to seek reform of the redistricting process in Virginia. From that meeting, a new coalition emerged to end gerrymandering. Now called OneVirginia2021: Virginians for Fair Redistricting, the organization brings together individuals from all over Virginia who believe that state and congressional districts belong to the citizens of this Commonwealth and not to any legislator, political party, or special interest. The coalition focuses on creating a fair process that includes an amendment to the Virginia Constitution establishing an impartial commission – independent of the General Assembly – to draw legislative district lines. The commission would use objective, nonpartisan criteria, invite public participation and be fully transparent. To get this real, lasting change, OneVirginia2021 urges all Virginians to become part of this important effort.
CONTACT: Katherine Mitchell, 804-560-8261; firstname.lastname@example.org