Don Heinzman, an ECM staffer, published an opinion piece which appeared at Thisweek regarding the need to redistrict in order to force legislators to better serve the needs of their constituents.
From the editorial:
Most Minnesotans are at a loss when it comes to actions to replace the cast of legislators in the Minnesota Legislature and in the Congress. That’s because they don’t know how, when or where to get involved with the process.
A very important step is under way now. It’s the need to redistrict the seats in the Legislature and the Congress. The Legislature is charged with changing the boundary lines of districts that have too many people in them, according to the last population census.
The problem is political party-sensitive legislators draw the lines to assure their re-elections and keeping their party in power.
There is absolutely no doubt that a citizen commission should be involved, and should be the major driving force behind such redistricting, do you really believe that whatever the final decision is that it will greatly impact the decision making power of the Minnesota Legislature and Congress? Mr. Heinzman hypothesizes briefly in the beginning of his piece that there was an “embarrassing battle on raising the debt ceiling and the recent Minnesota government shutdown,” however are we really to believe that it would not have occurred had the maps been redrawn ahead of time? As if suddenly because we shifted some boundaries, Dakota County as a whole wouldn’t be as conservative as it once was and would stop electing Republicans to represent it?
Do you think that redistricting will play a major role in shifting the power struggle as it currently exists in a different direction? Do you really feel helpless in replacing legislators in Minnesota? Are you planning on taking part in this citizen commission? Whatever you have to say about redistricting and its possible effects on the political landscape locally go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.