Release: Pima Dems Present Legislative Map Recommendations to Redistricting Commission
Renouncing GOP dirty tricks, PCDP makes appeal directly to IRC, the public for fair and competitive maps
TUCSON – The Pima County Democratic Party today announced that is has provided three legislative map recommendations to the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission for consideration. The move comes less than two weeks after a report revealed GOP Senator Vince Leach’s behind-the-scenes maneuvering to coordinate public support for a gerrymandered, Pima GOP Vice Chair-submitted map configuration that would ensure the incumbent Senator’s placement in a safe, Republican-dominant district.
Two of the maps have been posted to the IRC’s public redistricting portal and are labeled LD0082 and LD0083. The third is a version of the map considered by the Commission earlier in the process. The recommendations made for each map centers primarily on the makeup of D17, creating three distinct options for a Pima County-based, highly competitive legislative district: one with a slight Democratic advantage, one with a slight Republican advantage, and one with a near-perfect 50/50 split. All versions would better reflect the impacted communities than the D17 in the official IRC draft map.
LD0082: Slight Democratic advantage in D17, composed of Pinal communities Saddlebrooke, Oracle, San Manuel, and Mammoth; Pima communities Oro Valley, Casas Adobes, Catalina. Highly competitive with slight Democratic performance advantage.
LD0083: Slight Republican advantage in D17, composed solely of Pima County communities: Picture Rocks, Marana, Oro Valley, Casas Adobes, Catalina. Highly competitive district with slight Republican performance advantage.
IRC Test Map 9.0: 50/50 Democrat-Republican split in D17, composed of the Pinal community of Saddlebrooke, and Pima communities of Marana, Oro Valley, Casas Adobes, and Catalina.
The full submission letter detailing each map can be found here.
Pima County Democratic Party Chair Bonnie Heidler released the following statement:
“The Pima County Dems are excited to share these maps with the Commission and with the public. While some of our Republican counterparts have opted to obscure or misrepresent their efforts to influence the IRC, PCDP has nothing to hide. We are proud of Arizona’s voter-created, voter-protected independent redistricting process. The revelation of Senator Leach’s improper and unethical efforts to secure his own re-election is, unfortunately, just the latest attempt in Republicans’ decade-long attack on fair maps and independent redistricting.
We believe strongly that each of our three recommended maps upholds the Arizona constitutional criteria. They reflect Pima County’s many diverse communities of interest, are compact and contiguous, utilize existing geographic boundaries, provide for competitiveness, and retain southern Arizona’s three majority-Latino legislative districts, in compliance with the US Voting Rights Act. These are districts for the voters — not incumbent legislators.”
The AZ Independent Redistricting Committee will be voting to choose AZ’s mapping consultant at tomorrow’s meeting. Click here for the agenda You can watch the proceedings here: 5/4/21 at 9 am You can comment during the meeting here: Comment form opens on 5/4/21 at 9 am Republicans had many comments at the last meeting.: Public Comments 4/27/21 Below are the three firms up for consideration: HaystaqDNA, was the mapping consultant in 2011 that drew AZ’s current congressional and legislative districts. HaystaqDNA CEO, Ken Strasma, was the founder and president of Strategic Telemetry which worked for Barack Obama’s campaign, specialized in microtargeting for Democratic campaigns and had little experience in redistricting. Taylor English Decisions, LLC, is an Atlanta-based firm that specializes in government strategy, economic development and election and campaign compliance. In addition to questioning the firm’s lack of experience in redistricting work, critics note that CEO Earl Ehrhart is a former Republican lawmaker from Georgia. He’s also the former national chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council which has a history of drafting conservative and pro-corporate model legislation that GOP lawmakers sponsor. Timmons Group is an engineering firm headquartered in Richmond, VA. Opposition to the Timmons Group revolves around its partnership with National Demographics Corporation, which served as the mapping consultant for Arizona’s first redistricting commission in 2001, and the company’s president, Doug Johnson, who has Republican ties. The U.S. Department of Justice rejected the legislative map that Arizona’s first redistricting commission drew with NDC’s help in 2001, saying the map did include enough districts that gave minority voters the opportunity to elect the candidates of their choice.
TELL THE IRC NOT TO HIRE A MAPPING CONSULTANT WHO WILL ENDANGER FAIR MAPS
Arizona was one of the first states to initiate a nonpartisan, independent redistricting commission. Thousands of Arizonans supported a citizen initiative to secure a more fair and transparent redistricting process – but right now fair maps are in danger.
The IRC (Independent Redistricting Commission) is voting on Tuesday to choose their mapping consultant, an important part of the team to draw fair maps! One of the three firms they could hire is Timmons Group + National Demographic Corporation (NDC). The NDC has been involved with bad maps that do not follow mandated mapping criteria and undermine representation for communities of color. They have defended maps that were deemed unfair in litigation in courts across the country. Our Independent Redistricting Commission has a responsibility to hire staff and consultants who will act in the best interest of all Arizonans and will draw fair and equitable maps.
Send a message to the Independent Redistricting Commission: Do not hire a mapping consultant who will endanger fair maps!
Why should NDC have nothing to do with Arizona’s maps? Let’s take a look at their track record:
· In the landmark 2018 California voting rights case Luna v Kern County, a US District Court Judge ruled that the redistricting plan defended by the NDC President unlawfully denied Latinos the ability to elect candidates of their choice. The Judge deemed Johnson’s testimony and data to be “insufficient.” [Source] [Source]
· As the mapping consultant to the first Arizona IRC in 2001, NDC produced two legislative maps that were later thrown out. The ’02 map was rejected for failing to comply with the US Voting Rights Act, and the ’04 map was thrown out after it was ruled unconstitutional. The 2001 IRC Vice-Chair Andi Minkoff later testified that the Commission was “manipulated” by NDC into drawing non-competitive maps. [Source] [Source] [Source]
The IRC must uphold the trust of Arizonans throughout the redistricting process. Allowing National Demographics Corporation and Doug Johnson anywhere near our maps would immediately undermine that trust.
UPCOMING REDISTRICTING COMMISSION MEETING The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission’s next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 2nd, at 9:00 am. Although this meeting is an organizational one, you may be interested in: AIRC agenda 2/2/21 Youtube IRC Live 2/2/21 9:00 am One of the problems with the public comment opportunity is that it is very limited. Fill in Comment Form
Let Your Voice Be Heard Sign up for the training on the AIRC provided by the AZDems. The training is quick, informative and easy to follow. Sign up for training At the end of the training, you will be able to sign up for redistricting updates.
Sign up for an upcoming training sponsored by the AZDEMS: https://www.mobilize.us/az_dems/event/364952/
Arizona voters passed Proposition 106 in 2000, which amended the Arizona Constitution to establish an Independent Redistricting Commission (AIRC). The AIRC is responsible for drawing the congressional and legislative districts that Arizona will use through the 2030 election. The commission is composed of five members and the required independent chair, Erika Neuberg, has been unanimously agreed upon.
The commissions mission is as follows: “…to redraw Arizona’s congressional and legislative districts to reflect the results of the most recent census. The concept of one-person, one-vote dictates that districts should be roughly equal in population. Other factors to be considered are the federal Voting Rights Act, district shape, geographical features, respect for communities of interest and potential competitiveness…”
CURRENT DISTRICT MAPS
https://azredistricting.org/Maps/Final-Maps/default.asp M.boli, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
WHY IT MATTERS: Political and racial gerrymandering distorts and undermines representative democracy by allowing officials to select their voters rather than voters to elect their officials.
WHAT’S AT STAKE A truly blue Arizona. AZ’s population has gone up about 871,000 since 2010. And as the districts become more representative, Finchem, Leach, Gosar and their fellow seditionists could be history. Just think of what could be accomplished if our state legislature turned blue!
WHAT CAN WE DO? Provide comments and testimony in the public hearings which provides oversight that the district boundaries are drawn fairly and legally. Sign up for the training. The training is quick, informative and easy to follow.
Sign up for training At the end of the training, you will be able to sign up for redistricting updates.AZ Independent Redistricting Commission 1100 W. Washington St. Phoenix, AZ 85007 The AIRC has held two meetings in January and although no upcoming meetings are scheduled, you can check the AZ public meetings website: https://publicmeetings.az.gov/arizona-public-meetingsDOV will be hosting a speaker at an upcoming meeting to provide more information about redistricting and how to stay involved.