Thursday, October 11, 2012

MoCo Officials to Urge "Vote Against" Question 5 on MONDAY // Democrats Coming Out to Oppose New Congressional Districts

Maryland Juice just received the following press release announcing that numerous Montgomery County Democrats are attending a press conference this Monday to oppose the state's new Congressional Districts. The officials listed below are planning to urge a "vote against" Question 5, in the hopes of undoing Maryland's 2012 redistricting plan. Note that several of the attendees (including the municipal officials) are in non-partisan offices. See below:

Press Release

State, County and City Elected Officials to Join Community Leaders in
 Opposition to Maryland Congressional Redistricting

On Monday, Oct. 15, in Rockville, They Will Unite to 
Urge Maryland Voters to Oppose Question 5 in November
ROCKVILLE, Md., October 12, 2012—Montgomery County Councilmember Phil Andrews will be joined at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 15, by other elected officials including fellow Councilmembers, State Delegates, Councilmembers from Rockville and Gaithersburg, and community leaders to express their opposition to Maryland Ballot Question 5 regarding the redrawn Congressional districts currently in place in the state.

The event will be held in the Third Floor Conference Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville.

Following the 2010 Census, Governor Martin O’Malley proposed redrawn boundaries for the eight Maryland Congressional districts. The General Assembly approved the new districts, but opponents gathered enough signatures to place a referendum on the November ballot challenging the boundaries. If a majority of voters oppose Question 5, it would not affect the 2012 Congressional results. However, the Governor and General Assembly would be required to redraw the boundaries for the 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 elections. Repeal also could lead to the establishment of an independent redistricting commission, as numerous other states have done.

“Maryland's new Congressional map is so blatantly gerrymandered that District 3 looks like blood spatter from a crime scene, ridiculously including the far-flung communities of Annapolis, Towson and parts of Silver Spring, while excluding most communities between,” said Councilmember Andrews. “More than half of Montgomery County residents were moved to a different Congressional district—almost all of them moved for purely political reasons.

“Fortunately, Democrats and Republicans opposed the new Congressional district lines gathered enough petition signatures to give Marylanders the opportunity to repeal this gerrymander in November by voting against Question 5. Since political parties gerrymander whenever they can, Maryland needs an independent redistricting commission, a model used by several states. But there is no chance the Governor and General Assembly will establish one unless Marylanders first reject this extreme gerrymander by voting against Question 5.”

Among those expected to attend Monday’s event are Montgomery County Councilmembers Marc Elrich, Valerie Ervin, Nancy Floreen, Nancy Navarro, Craig Rice and Hans Riemer; State Delegates Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-Montgomery) and Aisha Braveboy (D-Prince George’s); Rockville Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio; Rockville City Councilmembers Tom Moore, Bridget Newton and Mark Pierzchala; and Gaithersburg City Councilmembers Jud Ashman and Cathy Drzyzgula.

Others expected to attend Monday’s event include a representative of Common Cause of Maryland; Todd Eberly, an assistant professor of political science at St. Mary’s College; Democratic precinct chairs Margaret Greene and Steve Shapiro;  businessman/philanthropist Josh Rales; and community leader Michael Lin.

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In a follow-up comment, Councilmember Phil Andrews, who is organizing the event, forwarded us a copy of the new 3rd Congressional District map as an example of why he is urging a "vote against" Question 5. The new CD3 stretches from Towson and the Baltimore suburbs, then down south to Annapolis, and westward into Montgomery County. See below:
Maryland: 3rd Congressional District Map 2012

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