Redistricting Ballot Measure Legislative & Congressional Findings
Whereas Election Day is when Oregonians exercise their right to vote and make their voice heard, and the people of Oregon need an independent commission to draw fair and impartial districts so that every vote matters; and
Whereas under current law, Oregon politicians draw the boundaries for their own state and congressional districts, a serious conflict of interest that harms voters; and
Whereas state and national level districting and redistricting rules should be determined by a politically neutral entity; and
Whereas Oregon state legislators draw district boundary maps every 10 years based on national census data; and
Whereas in general elections going back twenty years, 97.4% of incumbent politicians of the Oregon Legislative Assembly seeking re-election were re-elected in the districts that they had drawn for themselves; and
Whereas current law allows politicians to draw districts to serve their interests, not those of our communities, dividing places like Clackamas, Salem and Eugene into multiple oddly shaped districts to protect incumbent legislators; and
Whereas, in past redistrictings where incumbents have been protected, many Oregonians have no political voice because communities have been packed into one district or split into many districts with no input from the public; and
Whereas the people of Oregon believe in fairness, accountability and transparency in political processes; and
Whereas fully one in three Oregonians are not registered as either Democrats or Republicans and have virtually no representation in the Oregon Legislative Assembly or United States Congress; and
Whereas Oregon legislative and congressional districts should be drawn to represent all residents, regardless of all party affiliations, income levels, backgrounds, identities, or locations; and
Whereas voters across the country – from Arizona to California to Colorado to Michigan – have been moving to reject partisan gerrymandering and adopting reforms to make the redistricting process open and impartial so it is controlled by people, not partisan politicians; and
Whereas an independent Oregon Citizens Redistricting Commission provides a greater opportunity for under-represented communities like low-income Oregonians, persons of color, rural Oregonians and seniors to have a voice in their representation; and
Whereas the people of Oregon, find it necessary to create an independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to draw the state legislative and congressional districts in an impartial and fully transparent manner that will promote inclusion and representation of all Oregonians; and
Whereas the people of Oregon, find it necessary to give persons who are not Democrats or Republicans —whose voices are under-represented in the Oregon Legislative Assembly and the United States Congress—an equal voice and vote on the commission alongside Democrats or Republicans; and
Whereas the people of Oregon, find it necessary to require the independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to draw state legislative and congressional districts based on strict, nonpartisan rules designed to ensure fair representation and to propose reform that will take redistricting out of the partisan battles of the Oregon Legislative Assembly and guarantee redistricting will be carried out by a group of impartial Oregonians, in open public meetings, without favor to incumbents or parties, and for every aspect of this process to be open to scrutiny by the public and the press; and
Whereas the people of Oregon, find it necessary to create an independent Citizens Redistricting Commission because we believe Oregon voters should choose their representatives—representatives should not choose their voters.
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