MADISON— Today, hundreds of fair maps supporters flocked to Madison on short notice to oppose SB 621, the GOP-introduced rigged maps. Through citizen testimony, legislators heard how valuable nonpartisan redistricting is and how fierce the opposition is to their proposed maps. Below is testimony from lead members of the Wisconsin Fair Maps Coalition:
“After submitting their map to LRB merely hours after their “feedback portal” closed, Speaker Vos and Leader LeMahieu gave Wisconsinites only one week to fully analyze a document which will determine the next ten years of politics in Wisconsin,” said Sachin Chheda, chair of the Wisconsin FMC. “Even so, passionate citizens all around the state gathered here in the Capitol to show Republicans how much support fair maps have. It’s time to end gerrymandering.”
“The maps are rigged again, and the people of Wisconsin won’t stand for it,” says Matt Rothschild, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. “We demand independent, nonpartisan redistricting, not hyper-partisan gerrymandering and non-competitive districts.”
“Ten years ago Wisconsinites were stunned when the most partisan, unfair state legislative and congressional voting maps in the country were unveiled, unleashed and rammed through the Wisconsin Legislature in little more than a week,” said Common Cause in Wisconsin Director, Jay Heck. “This time Wisconsinites have wised up and are steamed rather than stunned by this current, blatant attempt to again ram through unfair maps and lock in and extend the ill-gotten partisan gains of 2011 for another decade until 2031.”
“From Bayfield to Kenosha and Platteville to Egg Harbor, voters are sick and tired of legislators who are unaccountable. Despite the obstacles put in their way, volunteers from around the state have spoken loudly and repeatedly in letters to the editor, on Lobby Day, through petitions and contacting their legislators about their desire for fair maps that reflect our communities,” stated Carlene Bechen, Organizing Director with the Fair Maps Coalition.
“We’ve endured this broken, gerrymandered system for far too long,” said Debra Cronmiller, the Executive Director at the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin. “These maps create a hyper-partisan environment which makes political competition, civil discourse and good governance nearly impossible. Wisconsinites across the state have had enough and are showing up, speaking out and calling on their elected officials to demand their voices be represented.”
Without competitive districts and accountability, the people of Wisconsin have all lost out and important issues like clean drinking water and clean air have been ignored. We can’t have another ten years where the needs of Wisconsinites go unheard because some politicians focus on consolidating power. – Anjali Bhasin, Civic Engagement Director, Wisconsin Conservation Voters
Wisconsin citizens overwhelmingly support a nonpartisan redistricting process; 56 counties, representing over 80% of Wisconsin residents, have passed resolutions urging legislators to support nonpartisan redistricting reform. To ignore this is to ignore the will of the people. – Tommy Enright, Communications & Special Projects Coordinator, Wisconsin Farmers Union.