As we approach the 2020 census and the potential that Oregon’s population growth will result in the addition of a sixth congressional district, we need to make sure the process for drawing new district boundaries is fair.
There’s an inherent conflict in having elected legislators draw the lines of their own districts. Politicians with biased political goals can manipulate this process and affect election outcomes at state and national levels.
Change who draws the lines and how
- Create an independent multi-partisan commission of 12 Oregon citizens to take public testimony and draw legislative and congressional voting maps according to strict criteria.
- Establish a multi-partisan judicial panel to screen members of the commission.
- Allow every-day Oregonians who meet a certain criterion – such as being registered to vote in Oregon and not being an elected or appointed official or lobbyist – to apply to serve on the 12-member commission.
- Require the commission to use transparent and objective criteria to draw lines.
- Add criteria to promote partisan fairness and competitive districts.
- Require at least 10 public hearings to be held across the state.
Increase transparency and public participation
- Create a stronger system for checks & balances of the multi-partisan commission.
- Require a multi-partisan and majority vote of commissioners before district maps can be adopted.
- Create an open and transparent process enabling full public participation, allowing the public to attend meetings, provide input and comments on the mapping process. All work and data will be public record.
- Prevent partisan legislators, special interest lobbyists, and political strategists and staff from influencing the process.
Create positive impact for all Oregonians
- Give Oregonians balanced leadership, focused on equal representation by their elected officials.
- Provide a greater opportunity for under-represented communities like low-income Oregonians, persons of color, rural Oregonians and seniors to have a voice in their representation.
- Create better geographic, economic, social, community and political diversity in drawing the district maps for our state legislators and congressional leaders.
- Elect legislators who are more representative of their districts.