Re: Opposition to SB488 and AB415, Legislative Redistricting
The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin has long supported a nonpartisan district map-drawing process. We thank you for holding this public hearing on this important issue after failing to do so for the past 13 years.
I hope you come to this public hearing to listen to us. Independent, nonpartisan redistricting is possible in Wisconsin. The solution for Wisconsin entails taking the map-drawing process out of the hands of partisan players and giving the responsibility to a nonpartisan independent commission. Anything lacking transparency and nonpartisan safeguards will lead us back to where we find ourselves now – politicians drawing themselves into power year after year.
It is time for this Legislature to govern. Because of the gerrymander, this Legislature has ignored voters, taken unpopular stances, and failed to do the very job you are elected to do. You have held up many appointments, rendering some committees and commissions without the quorums necessary to do their work. For example, we need a Natural Resources Board to promulgate important rules to establish a groundwater standard for PFAS in Wisconsin. Only the DNR can do this. Infants, young children, and adults throughout the state need these protections from these dangerous toxic chemicals. We need to authorize the funds budgeted for testing and remediation. We need to hold polluters accountable so Wisconsin’s taxpayers do not pay the whole bill.
Additionally, due to the gerrymander, you have failed to support our future generations of Wisconsinites by refusing to fully fund public education systems.
You have failed to support Wisconsin’s working families by providing the basic health care they need and access to affordable child care so they can be productive members of our community’s workforce.
The current maps have undermined Wisconsin’s long history of governing leadership. Now is the time to seriously consider nonpartisan maps that serve the people’s needs and not just satisfy those greedy for more power.
The next Census is not until 2030. You have the time to hear from the voters, to work with the many advocates of democracy in the room and to engage all elected officials from both sides of the aisle to secure the buy-in from Wisconsin’s most rural communities and largest metropolitan areas.
Now is the time to ensure the needed guardrails are in place to prevent simple majority approvals. Years of bad practices have fueled the hyperpartisan governing paralysis we find ourselves in. The people of Wisconsin deserve better.
Now is the time to require a supermajority of Legislators to approve any proposed district map so Wisconsin can once again have a Legislature that governs for the people - all the people - not just the wealthy few.
Now is the time for fair maps.
-Debra Cronmiller, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin
The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin is a nonpartisan political organization that advocates for informed and active participation in government. There are 20 local Leagues throughout Wisconsin. More information at lwvwi.org.