Common Good Iowa

It's time for Iowans to speak up on reapportionment

Posted on 09/16/2021 at 02:41 PM by Mike Owen

Reapportionment is a tremendous opportunity for Iowa lawmakers to establish a commitment to the common good, no matter the political consequences. Iowans will have an opportunity to be heard in advance of the Oct. 5 special session on the first redistricting plan, released today by the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency.

While there will be much attention today to the political impacts of the first maps proposed by the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency, by law those considerations should not matter. Rather, it's a simple issue of principle: One person, one vote, with no consideration of the fortunes of individual politicians, political parties or historical voting patterns.

The drawing of legislative and congressional district boundaries might seem like pretty dry stuff. In fact, it can be as important as any piece of our government structure in ensuring that every voice has equitable weight in the setting of public policy — on education, on health care, on environmental issues, on child care, on workplace protection, on equal opportunity across the board.

Iowa has a proud tradition as the model for nonpartisan drawing of legislative maps. Where other states are saddled with intense partisanship in this crucial decision, Iowa has found a way to do it better for 40 years. The latest attempt starts today.

Now, with the first maps available for review, it's time for Iowans to speak up to ensure their access to and representation in the political process. Waiting for an election might be too late.

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The Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission will hold three public hearings for Iowans to voice their views: Sept. 20 at 6 p.m., Sept. 21 at noon, and Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. All meetings will be held virtually, which should be convenient for Iowans across the state.

Find links to sign up to participate or submit comments on the Iowa General Assembly website.

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