Other Group

OneVirginia2021

OneVirginia2021 is a Virginia-based advocacy group supporting various measures to change the method by which legislative districts are drawn in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The group proposes to amend the Virginia Constitution to remove the redistricting power of the Virginia state legislature and assign it to a nominally independent redistricting commission. [1]

While nominally independent redistricting commissions have been supported by liberals in recent years as a response to perceived Republican gains from the redistricting process following the 2010 Census and Congressional elections,[2] Democrats in Virginia are split on support of the amendment. [3] In June 2020, the Democratic Party of Virginia approved a resolution urging those supporting their party to reject the ballot measure. [4] Republicans, including the Republican Party of Virginia, largely supported the amendment, seeing it as their best shot at favorable redistricting after losing the majorities in the state legislature in the 2019 elections. [5]

Background

OneVirginia2021 is advocates for various measures to change the method by which legislative districts are drawn in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The group supports amending the Virginia Constitution to remove the redistricting power of the Virginia state legislature and giving the power to a nominally independent commission. [6] The group was founded in 2014 and includes former party leaders from both the Democratic and Republican parties. [7]

In 2020, the Virginia General Assembly passed the “second read” of an amendment that would establish a so-called “independent” Virginia Redistricting Commission. [8] The proposed commission would be made up of eight legislators and eight citizens with a citizen as chairperson. Those people would be selected by retired judges from lists proposed by both parties, and maps proposed by the commission would require six votes from legislators and six votes from the citizen members to pass the map. The legislature would then get an up-or-down vote but wouldn’t be able to amend the map. The various proceedings would be open to the public. [9]

Board Members

OneVirginia2021 board members include activists and former elected officials from both major parties. Members include Bill Bolling, a former Republican Lieutenant Governor; Shannon Valentine, a former state legislator and the sitting state Secretary of Transportation in the cabinet of Gov. Ralph Northam (D); Terry Cooper, founder of the Virginia TEA Party Federation; Bob Gibson, journalist and former executive director of Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership; Leigh B. Middleditch, Jr., co-founder of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership; and businessman and Democratic-leaning political donor Jim Ukrop. [10][11]

Constitutional Amendment

In 2020, Virginia voters will vote to approve or disapprove of a state constitutional amendment to establish a redistricting commission supported by OneVirignia2021. As OneVirginia2021 raises money to support the amendment, Democrats in Virginia are split on support of the amendment. [12] In June, the Democratic Party of Virginia approved a resolution urging those supporting their party to reject the ballot measure. [13] The Democratic Party of Virginia also urged local Democratic committees to check “no” to the amendment on any sample ballots they hand out. [14]

The ballot measure has created significant divisions amounts Democrats in Virginia. Some Democrats opposed the measure because they argue that there are no guarantees that people of color will be able to serve on the committee drawing the maps. [15] This particular amendment says the map would ultimately be approved by the Supreme Court of Virginia, which is made up of largely Republican-appointed judges. [16]

Republicans, including the Republican Party of Virginia, largely supported the amendment, seeing it as their best shot at favorable redistricting since they are not in the majority in the state legislature. [17]

References

  1. “The Solution.” Accessed July 28, 2020. https://www.onevirginia2021.org/the-solution/. ^
  2. CRC Staff. “CRC Exposes the Fallacy of Independent Redistricting.” Capital Research Center. Capital Research Center, June 22, 2019. https://capitalresearch.org/article/crc-exposes-the-fallacy-of-independent-redistricting/. ^
  3. Leonor, Mel. “Redistricting Fight Heats up with Statewide Referendum Looming.” The Daily Progress, July 27, 2020. https://dailyprogress.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/redistricting-fight-heats-up-with-statewide-referendum-looming/article_243541b0-b084-507b-8cf0-54e065478078.html. ^
  4. Leonor, Mel. “Redistricting Fight Heats up with Statewide Referendum Looming.” The Daily Progress, July 27, 2020. https://dailyprogress.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/redistricting-fight-heats-up-with-statewide-referendum-looming/article_243541b0-b084-507b-8cf0-54e065478078.html. ^
  5. Leonor, Mel. “Redistricting Fight Heats up with Statewide Referendum Looming.” The Daily Progress, July 27, 2020. https://dailyprogress.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/redistricting-fight-heats-up-with-statewide-referendum-looming/article_243541b0-b084-507b-8cf0-54e065478078.html. ^
  6. “The Solution.” Accessed July 28, 2020. https://www.onevirginia2021.org/the-solution/. ^
  7. “About Us.” One Virginia 2021. Accessed July 28, 2020. https://www.onevirginia2021.org/about-us/. ^
  8. “The Solution.” Accessed July 28, 2020. https://www.onevirginia2021.org/the-solution/. ^
  9. “The Solution.” Accessed July 28, 2020. https://www.onevirginia2021.org/the-solution/. ^
  10. “About Us.” One Virginia 2021. Accessed July 28, 2020. https://www.onevirginia2021.org/about-us/. ^
  11. Virginia Public Access Project. “James E. Ukrop.” Accessed August 17, 2020. https://www.vpap.org/donors/451-james-e-ukrop/?start_year=all. ^
  12. Leonor, Mel. “Redistricting Fight Heats up with Statewide Referendum Looming.” The Daily Progress, July 27, 2020. https://dailyprogress.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/redistricting-fight-heats-up-with-statewide-referendum-looming/article_243541b0-b084-507b-8cf0-54e065478078.html. ^
  13. Leonor, Mel. “Redistricting Fight Heats up with Statewide Referendum Looming.” The Daily Progress, July 27, 2020. https://dailyprogress.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/redistricting-fight-heats-up-with-statewide-referendum-looming/article_243541b0-b084-507b-8cf0-54e065478078.html. ^
  14. Leonor, Mel. “Redistricting Fight Heats up with Statewide Referendum Looming.” The Daily Progress, July 27, 2020. https://dailyprogress.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/redistricting-fight-heats-up-with-statewide-referendum-looming/article_243541b0-b084-507b-8cf0-54e065478078.html. ^
  15. Leonor, Mel. “Redistricting Fight Heats up with Statewide Referendum Looming.” The Daily Progress, July 27, 2020. https://dailyprogress.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/redistricting-fight-heats-up-with-statewide-referendum-looming/article_243541b0-b084-507b-8cf0-54e065478078.html. ^
  16. Leonor, Mel. “Redistricting Fight Heats up with Statewide Referendum Looming.” The Daily Progress, July 27, 2020. https://dailyprogress.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/redistricting-fight-heats-up-with-statewide-referendum-looming/article_243541b0-b084-507b-8cf0-54e065478078.html. ^
  17. Leonor, Mel. “Redistricting Fight Heats up with Statewide Referendum Looming.” The Daily Progress, July 27, 2020. https://dailyprogress.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/redistricting-fight-heats-up-with-statewide-referendum-looming/article_243541b0-b084-507b-8cf0-54e065478078.html. ^
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