This one’s for the ’80s kids. Just Say No to Gerrymanding!
Gerrymandering Is Poison to Rural Districts
The only way Democrats will win in District 18 is if we get out the vote. Since the last census, because they controlled the VA legislature, the Tea Party Republicans have unfairly used gerrymandering to solidify their power in rural districts like ours.
Guess how many Democrats from rural Virginia districts currently sit in the VA House of Delegates? Zero. Guess how many incumbents lost their Delegate seat in the last election? Zero. This is due to gerrymandering. It is best explained by Arnold Schwarzenegger so take a look at his video. As Arnold says, gerrymandering is bad for everyone. Primarily, because it creates an environment of polarization. Only those at the extremes engage with views that don’t represent most citizens like us.
My Second Pledge for Rural Virginians
Unfair redistricting is undermining our democratic process. It allows politicians to pick their own voters instead of voters picking their politicians.
My pledge is to be committed to bipartisan redistricting reform. This is a good policy for all Virginians. If you want to learn more about specifics in Virginia, check out OneVirginia2021.
“This November’s elections in Virginia are a top priority for Democrats and give us the opportunity to undo Republican gerrymandering and have a legislature and Congress that truly represent the views of the people,” Eric Holder, former Obama Attorney General.
This week I engaged our current Delegate, Michael Webert, on Twitter. He consistently denies the impact of gerrymandering. For me, fairness in elections is essential to our rural community. Join me and let’s get out the vote so our votes matter in Virginia’s House of Delegates.
The Republican Party has done a great job painting rural voters as a monolithic, conservative block of people, easily manipulated to vote against their own interests. Here in Virginia, specifically District 18, this picture is the farthest thing from the truth.
Change is Gonna Come
Democratic and moderate rural voters have been too quiet for too long. The time has come to raise our voices together and let Virginia and the world know that rural America is not a place of hate, prejudice and where only the wealthy rule.
Moderates, liberals and progressives are now awake and consciously taking action in District 18. Whether that’s resistance groups or unity rallies, I’m seeing a real commitment to change. We are here to make an historic win in November, 2017 to stop the Trump madness.
My First Pledge for Rural Voters in District 18
Our votes will matter only if we take back the VA House. That means winning in places like District 18 where Tea Party Republicans for too long have gone uncontested.
My pledge is to win in November and represent your interests and concerns to make our community and Virginia a place where all can prosper. How are we going to do this? By turning every resister +1 into a registered voter. Not just the resistors, but the resistors’ mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, sisters, brothers, friends. All of us must believe deeply that voting matters. We will not go to the polls alone!!
As you can probably tell from my Facebook feed I’m not happy about the election. I want to speak to my conservative friends out there. I’m a white man who has lived all over the south for most of my life, playing rock music, soooo I probably have more Republican friends than most liberals.
I need to explain why we are so upset. We aren’t angry because we lost. Anyone who watched my brother Rory and me on NBC’s The Voice know that we are magnanimous in defeat. We are upset because, in our view, the election of Donald Trump has emboldened hate.
Maybe you don’t hate minorities, or women or immigrants. Maybe you think that Trump wasn’t really telling the truth when he said “grab them by the pussy, when you’re a star they let you do it.” That is little comfort to the groups who have fought so hard to achieve a taste of the American dream, who strive towards true equality and a more perfect union. To gay couples who just got the freedom and privilege of marriage, losing that right is not an abstract notion but a real threat on their way of life. To minorities who are just now showing us how tenuous and dangerous their relationship with the police is, this is a signal that white America doesn’t get it. To the immigrant children in school who have their white classmates chanting “Build a wall” while they cry, this will scar them for life. For women, who only make 80 cents for every dollar a man makes, who get yelled at on the street by men who address them as sexual objects, who are made to chose between spending time with their new born baby or going back to work, this is a slap in the face.
So to my conservative friends, please recognize that this is more than losing an election to us. To many, this is a threat to their safety and their way of life. Please reassure the people in your community that you bear them no ill intent, that you recognize them as people and accept them as part of your America. If you demonize people, don’t be surprised when they act like demons.