Advocacy groups press for transparency, public input during redistricting process

Advocacy groups press for transparency, public input during redistricting process
Virginia Capitol (Source: wvir)

RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - The work of the state’s new redistricting commission will have a lasting impact on Virginia elections and political power.

And people who are watching the process are calling on the members of the commission to reach out for as much public input as possible.

For now, advocacy groups are giving members the benefit of the doubt.

“We continue to be very excited about the enormous potential of this commission and its work,” said Liz White, OneVirginia2021 Executive Director.

But they’re making it clear they will be watching closely to see if the commission is sincere in its effort to inform the public and invite their participation.

“Receiving input from citizens from across the Commonwealth is a vital component to the success of the 2021 redistricting process,” said Annandale resident Candace Butler.

They’re calling for more public hearings than the new law requires, at times of the day when people aren’t working and in areas that are not represented by citizen members, including the Roanoke and Shenandoah Valleys.

“The eight citizen commissioners were selected with geographic diversity in mind, but there are three regions with no citizen commission members,” noted Fredericksburg resident Fran Larkins.

The Virginia Counts Coalition said it’s frustrated the commission is moving slowly to make its work more accessible, but in a news release, the organization said it sees a glimmer of encouragement in the statements commission members made during Monday’s meeting.

Copyright 2021 WDBJ. All rights reserved.