Other Group

Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting

Website:

nebraskansforindependentredistricting.org/

Location:

Lincoln, NE

Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting is a coalition sponsored by several left-of-center organizations in support of a ballot initiative to create an independent redistricting commission in Nebraska. [1] The group, sponsored by Nebraska chapters of Common Cause, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the League of Women Voters, formed in March 2020 in an attempt to get the initiative on the 2020 Nebraska ballot. [2] [3]

Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting abandoned the ballot initiative in June 2020 after failing to get the requisite signatures to qualify for the ballot. [4]

Ballot Initiative Advocacy

On March 5, 2020, Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting launched with a press statement introducing a ballot initiative to remove redistricting power from the Nebraska Legislature by creating an independent “citizens commission” to oversee state redistricting for the state legislature and the United States House of Representatives. [5] The Nebraska Legislature passed a bill for an independent redistricting commission in 2016, but Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts (R) vetoed the measure. [6]

The ballot initiative, if passed, would establish a nine-member independent commission to determine district lines in Nebraska. [7] The commission would exclude any lobbyists, elected officials, party leaders, political candidates, and their immediate family members. [8] The proposal would also require all commission business to be public, including holding all meetings in public and providing open access to maps and data under consideration by the commission. [9]

Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting has not filed with the IRS as a tax-exempt organization. The group is a loose coalition co-sponsored by advocacy organizations and various Nebraska affiliates of national left-of-center groups, including ACLU of Nebraska, Common Cause Nebraska, and the League of Women Voters of Nebraska. [10] [11] [12] Action Network, which brands itself as an organizing platform for left-of-center causes, also featured Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting’s campaign. [13]

Initiative Failure

In order to get onto the Nebraska ballot in 2020, the proposal required around 121,000 valid signatures before July 2. [14] When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting continued its attempt to collect signatures, pivoting to social media platforms to promote awareness of the petition after large gatherings were restricted. [15] The group continued to operate through the beginning of the summer of 2020. [16]

On June 24, 2020, Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting suspended its ballot initiative, citing “public health concerns” related to the COVID-19 pandemic. [17] [18] The organization claimed that the pandemic had prevented the collection of the requisite number of signatures. [19]

Despite suspending the ballot initiative, Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting vowed to explore legislative options to “create transparency and accountability” in Nebraska redistricting. [20] There has been no news on legislative efforts as of September 2020.

Leadership

Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting is a coalition of left-of-center organizations, including the Nebraska affiliates of Common Cause, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the League of Women Voters (LWV). [21] [22]

The campaign is co-chaired by former state senator DiAnna Schimek (D), former state senator Marian Price (R), and community leader Carol Russell. [23] Schimek spent 20 years in the Nebraska State Legislature, and prior to her career as a legislator, she worked for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) from 1976 until 1988. [24]

References

  1. “End Gerrymandering in Nebraska.” Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting. Accessed September 22, 2020. https://nebraskansforindependentredistricting.org/.   ^
  2. Civic Nebraska. “Coalition Moves to End Partisan Gerrymandering in Nebraska.” Civic Nebraska, March 5, 2020. https://www.civicnebraska.org/nebraskans-for-independent-redistricting/.   ^
  3. “Legislative Advocacy.” League of Women Voters of Nebraska, n.d. Accessed September 22, 2020. ^
  4. Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting. “Dear Friends.” Facebook. Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting . Accessed September 22, 2020. https://www.facebook.com/nebraskansforindependentredistricting/photos/a.119379879677154/148392260109249/. ^
  5. Civic Nebraska. “Coalition Moves to End Partisan Gerrymandering in Nebraska.” Civic Nebraska, March 5, 2020. https://www.civicnebraska.org/nebraskans-for-independent-redistricting/.   ^
  6. Stoddard, Martha. “Coalition Plans Petition Drive for Independent Redistricting Board in Nebraska.” Omaha.com. Omaha World Herald, March 5, 2020. https://omaha.com/state-and-regional/coalition-plans-petition-drive-for-independent-redistricting-board-in-nebraska/article_f5c45e83-0efa-510f-996a-927663c9531e.html.   ^
  7. Civic Nebraska. “Coalition Moves to End Partisan Gerrymandering in Nebraska.” CivicNebraska, March 5, 2020. https://www.civicnebraska.org/nebraskans-for-independent-redistricting/. ^
  8. Civic Nebraska. “Coalition Moves to End Partisan Gerrymandering in Nebraska.” Civic Nebraska, March 5, 2020. https://www.civicnebraska.org/nebraskans-for-independent-redistricting/. ^
  9. Civic Nebraska. “Coalition Moves to End Partisan Gerrymandering in Nebraska.” Civic Nebraska, March 5, 2020. https://www.civicnebraska.org/nebraskans-for-independent-redistricting/. ^
  10. Civic Nebraska. “Coalition Moves to End Partisan Gerrymandering in Nebraska.” Civic Nebraska, March 5, 2020. https://www.civicnebraska.org/nebraskans-for-independent-redistricting/. ^
  11. Walton, Don. “Redistricting Battle Underway Ahead of 2021.” JournalStar.com. Lincoln Journal Star, March 8, 2020. https://journalstar.com/legislature/don-walton-redistricting-battle-underway-ahead-of-2021/article_f07e8b2e-c9d2-59e4-bc0a-c197108df955.html.   ^
  12. “Legislative Advocacy.” League of Women Voters of Nebraska, n.d. Accessed September 22, 2020. ^
  13. “End Gerrymandering in Nebraska.” The Action Network. Accessed September 22, 2020. https://actionnetwork.org/forms/end-gerrymandering-in-nebraska.   ^
  14. Stoddard, Martha. “Coalition Plans Petition Drive for Independent Redistricting Board in Nebraska.” Omaha.com. Omaha World Herald, March 5, 2020. https://omaha.com/state-and-regional/coalition-plans-petition-drive-for-independent-redistricting-board-in-nebraska/article_f5c45e83-0efa-510f-996a-927663c9531e.html. ^
  15. Galatas, Eric. “Voter Map Initiative Going Forward during Health Emergency.” The Norfolk Daily News, June 2, 2020. https://norfolkdailynews.com/wjag/news/voter-map-initiative-going-forward-during-health-emergency/article_ced2a7ee-a1cb-11ea-b3e8-c3e4e11eaa45.html.   ^
  16. Galatas, Eric. “Voter Map Initiative Going Forward during Health Emergency.” The Norfolk Daily News, June 2, 2020. https://norfolkdailynews.com/wjag/news/voter-map-initiative-going-forward-during-health-emergency/article_ced2a7ee-a1cb-11ea-b3e8-c3e4e11eaa45.html.   ^
  17. Civic Nebraska. “Coalition Moves to End Partisan Gerrymandering in Nebraska.” Civic Nebraska, March 5, 2020. https://www.civicnebraska.org/nebraskans-for-independent-redistricting/.   ^
  18. Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting. “Dear Friends.” Facebook. Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting. Accessed September 22, 2020. https://www.facebook.com/nebraskansforindependentredistricting/photos/a.119379879677154/148392260109249/.   ^
  19. “End Gerrymandering in Nebraska.” Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting. Accessed September 22, 2020. https://nebraskansforindependentredistricting.org/.   ^
  20. “End Gerrymandering in Nebraska.” Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting. Accessed September 22, 2020. https://nebraskansforindependentredistricting.org/.     ^
  21. Civic Nebraska. “Coalition Moves to End Partisan Gerrymandering in Nebraska.” Civic Nebraska, March 5, 2020. https://www.civicnebraska.org/nebraskans-for-independent-redistricting/.   ^
  22. “Legislative Advocacy.” League of Women Voters of Nebraska, n.d. Accessed September 22, 2020. ^
  23. Civic Nebraska. “Coalition Moves to End Partisan Gerrymandering in Nebraska.” Civic Nebraska, March 5, 2020. https://www.civicnebraska.org/nebraskans-for-independent-redistricting/.   ^
  24. “Sen. DiAnna Schimek.” Nebraska Legislature. Accessed September 22, 2020. https://web.archive.org/web/20060614055225/http://www.unicam.state.ne.us/senators/district27.htm.   ^
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Nebraskans for Independent Redistricting


Lincoln, NE