Correct a Cheating System With Fair Maps
Ending gerrymandering will mean prioritizing your needs over the ambitions of politicians.
Sorry to say, but you’ve been cheated, and not just in a game of cards. At a time when every Wisconsinite needs leaders working for them, they have legislators abdicating their responsibilities while COVID-19 wreaks havoc on Wisconsin.
The Majority Party hasn’t been playing fairly for a while now and it shows. Partisan gerrymandering allows their absence and inaction to go unpunished. Non-partisan redistricting reform will be the tactic to correct these wrongs. It will ensure all Wisconsinites are represented and have equal access to succeed.
Just three weeks ago, the State Senate passed a compromise COVID-19 response bill with near unanimity. The newly appointed Senate Majority Leader actually worked with Governor Tony Evers to deliver a bill that Republicans and Democrats could both agree on. Although some individuals on both ends of the spectrum would say it didn’t go far enough, it was considered a ray of hope and something to build on. This compromise showed we really could work together, or so it seemed. Then we saw the bait and switch.
Last week, Assembly Republicans chose to add poison pills to this bipartisan legislation, essentially killing the bill. These provisions were not part of the COVID-19 response legislation that was mutually agreed upon by Democrat Governor Evers and the Republican State Senate. Assembly Republicans’ endgame was politically motivated, without any consideration of the fact that we are still in a dire public health and economic crisis.
Last Thursday, Senate Republicans caved into Assembly Speaker Robin Vos’ demands and passed this legislation again, but unfortunately included hyper-partisan provisions. After eight months of inaction, Republicans have wasted another four weeks arguing between themselves about how to make this more political.
Politics have also stopped the Majority Party from accepting commonsense health recommendations, like wearing a mask to slow the spread of the virus. Last Tuesday, Senate Republicans passed a resolution to end Wisconsin’s emergency health orders and the mask protective order. Assembly Republicans delayed their decision for now, once it became known Wisconsin would lose nearly $50 million per month in food assistance if the emergency order was struck down.
When we have an independent, nonpartisan redistricting process, your needs are prioritized over the ambitions of political leaders. Fair maps will require legislators to listen to you, rather than their Party leader. Compromise happens when the people matter more than political insiders. Your family matters when politicians collaborate and actually get things done for you.
Nonpartisan redistricting reform will direct our Legislature to work fairly and for the people. No one likes to be cheated and this is the only way we can go to make sure we’re not distrustful of Wisconsin’s leaders for another decade.
Wisconsin State Senator Jeff Smith represents Wisconsin’s 31st Senate District.
- A Better Wisconsin Together Applauds the Release of the People’s Maps; Encourages Legislature to Enact Them Into Law - A Better Wisconsin Together - Oct 1st, 2021
- Commission Proposes Legislative Maps Reducing GOP Advantage - Bridgit Bowden - Oct 1st, 2021
- Data Wonk: Will 10 Years of Gerrymandering End? - Bruce Thompson - Sep 29th, 2021
- GOP Legislators Push To Continue Gerrymandering - Melanie Conklin and Henry Redman - Sep 29th, 2021
- Op Ed: State Supreme Court Wrong To Take On Redistricting Case - Matt Rothschild - Sep 26th, 2021
- GOP Legislators Seek US Supreme Court Help On Redistricting - Laurel White - Sep 25th, 2021
- Republican Legislators Propose Redistricting Bill - Ruth Conniff - Sep 24th, 2021
- State Supreme Court Will Hear Redistricting Case - Laurel White - Sep 22nd, 2021
- Wisconsin Supreme Court Takes WILL Redistricting Case - Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty - Sep 22nd, 2021
- Statement on Tuesday’s Federal Judicial Redistricting Hearing - Fair Elections Project - Sep 22nd, 2021
Read more about Gerrymandering of Legislative Districts here