Redistricting commission adjusts course

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 7:27 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia’s Redistricting Commission has a long way to go, and a short time to get there.

And with Monday’s meeting in Richmond, members have adjusted their course.

“We know that there will be changes and improvements along the way, and today is no exception,” Commission Co-Chair Greta Harris said during the meeting.

Harris said the commission and staff have been building the plane as they fly it.

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The latest change she described as “a significant pivot.” Instead of considering district lines in a specific region, the commission ordered statewide maps to be delivered in a week.

“We were concerned around the timing that is statutorily laid out for us, that we were not going to be able to get through the large swath of land that makes up the Commonwealth of Virginia,” Harris said.

For about three hours, commission members considered the guidance they must give the experts who are actually drawing the maps, a task that will continue on Wednesday.

And they heard mixed reviews on the work they’ve already done.

“I chose to comment today, because frankly all of the house district options you put forward for my neighborhood I believe lack a nuanced understanding of my community,” said Arlington resident Jason Stanford.

“I want to thank the map drawers who I think have done an admirable job, drawing the first set of draft maps for the northern Virginia region,” said Arlington resident Christine Derosa. “Already the draft maps look so much better than the current maps.”

The commission’s deadline to deliver district maps for the Virginia House and Senate is October 10.

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