A Democracy with Fair Play

July 16, 2019

by Matthew Rothschild, Executive Director

(These are remarks that Matt delivered at a press conference for redistricting reform in the State Capitol on July 16.)

Thanks, everyone, for coming. We need your activism, and your friends’ activism, to get this done—to ban gerrymandering in Wisconsin. That’s what we need.

I’d like to first acknowledge the amazing work that Sen Hansen has been doing on this issue for years and years, and I salute Rep Vining for championing this issue so early in her career, as well. And thanks to the other lawmakers here who support these bills.

And I’d also like to salute the courage and foresight of the three Republican co-sponsors of this bill, Rep. Todd Novak, who’s been with us before on this issue.

Rep. Travis Tranel and Rep. Joel Kitchens.

I say “foresight,” because the momentum is really building on this issue. Soon the pressure will be so intense that no one in office will be able to stand in the way of banning gerrymandering without risking losing their job.

This is an issue of basic fairness. The people of Wisconsin want a level playing field, and they’re sick and tired of the rigging of our political system, no matter who’s doing the rigging, whether it’s Republicans or Democrats. Rigging is wrong, and Wisconsinites, across party lines, won’t tolerate it any more.

A Marquette Law School poll earlier this year that showed that 72 percent of Wisconsinites wanted to ban gerrymandering. And that includes 63 of Republicans and 76 percent of Independents.

And look at this map: 47 county boards in Wisconsin have passed resolutions calling on the state legislature to ban gerrymandering and adopt independent, nonpartisan redistricting.

There aren’t 47 blue counties in Wisconsin. There aren’t 37 blue counties. There aren’t 27 blue counties. There aren’t 20 blue counties in Wisconsin. Most of these counties are red, red, red. Even in red, red, red counties, the people want to independent, nonpartisan redistricting.

Iowa solved this problem 40 years ago, and it’s about time we solved it here in Wisconsin.

And we’re falling behind other states. Just in the last year, Colorado, Michigan, Missouri and Utah have adopted a fair maps process.

Now it’s our turn. We don’t want fall far behind Utah and Missouri now, do we?

So let’s pass these bills. Let’s ban gerrymandering in Wisconsin once and for all.

And let’s have a democracy, with fair play. Let’s have a democracy where everyone has an equal voice.