Letter: It's time for an independent redistricting commission for Maryland

More than a year ago, Marylanders for Coherent and Fair Representation was formed as a nonpartisan organization to begin a dialogue of how the Congressional Districts of Maryland should be drawn. Last fall, through the federal court case, we argued that a third majority-minority coalition district of African-Americans and Latino voters should be created in the suburbs of the District of Columbia.

Earlier this year, MCFR began the petition effort to place the map before the voters of Maryland. After four months, with a lot of hard work by hundreds of dedicated volunteers, we were sucessful turning in more than 65,000 signatures in July.

This past week, several Democratic elected officials, including the Comptroller of Maryland, joined their Republican counterparts to denounce the gerrymandered Congressional district map and are actively campaigning against Question 5.

MCFR is thrilled that people from across the partisan spectrum have chosen to speak with one voice against this map, which serves to disenfranchise Latinos, African Americans, the citizens of Montgomery and Prince George's counties as will as breaking up communities of interests by splitting Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties into four different Congressional districts.

However, the end goal of this 14-month process has not been only the defeat of the Congressional district map; it has always been the goal of this process to create an independent redistricting commission to have fair and coherent representation for every citizen in Maryland.

Gerrymandering, in every form — Republican or Democrat — takes away the sovereign right of the govern to choose their representatives; instead, you have a chosen few who are able to choose their targeted voter constituency by carving up Maryland like a Thanksgiving turkey.

Voting against Question 5 will allow the voters to choose our Representatives. If you want a good government, vote against Question 5.

Antonio (Tony) Campbell, chairman, Repeal the Gerrymander




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