The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com.
The non-partisan People’s Maps Commission created by Governor Evers continues to hold hearings throughout the state. The Commission was created to prevent gerrymandering and to draw fair legislative maps. This ensures that elected officials remain accountable to their constituents and no political party can shield themselves from popular opinion by crafting maps that will keep them in power no matter which way the political winds sway.
We have seen how gerrymandering affects our state. Republicans have continued to hold the State Assembly in Wisconsin since 2010, despite receiving fewer votes statewide in Assembly races than Democrats. Because they don’t need to win more votes than Democrats to hold a majority, they are not responsive to the needs of the people of Wisconsin. 70% of Wisconsinites want the state to expand Medicaid. 83% favor medical marijuana (59% favor full marijuana legalization). 57% want to increase the minimum wage in the state. 71% want to get rid of mandatory minimum sentences.
Not a single one of these issues are even remotely close to getting passed in the Republican-controlled Legislature, because they have insulated themselves from popular opinion through unfairly-drawn legislative maps.
That is why fair maps are so necessary. We must have elected officials who are attentive to the needs of the people and the people are able to oust their elected officials if they are not responsive. Governor Evers has, thankfully, created this commission to return fairness to the redistricting process. I look forward to seeing what they come up with.
– Hebl, D-Sun Prairie, represents the 46th Assembly District.