Originally posted at Writeindependent.org on April 17, 2012
The biggest problem I have had with the Pledge was not the fact that it has stringent guidelines for campaign financing, but that its original draft did away with gerrymandering by removing redistricting altogether, going back to the days when the district lines were originally drawn, in most cases 1912. (For some reason, I was correct in assuming that the formation of the Fed followed on the heels of drawing of original district lines. It may just be a coincidence.)
Gerrymandering and re-districting are two very different things. Redistricting is necessary when the population changes so much that one district may contain tens of thousands more constituents, giving each voter less power (as a percentage of the whole) than a similar voter in a neighboring district whose population is small.
Gerrymandering is the purposeful distortion of district lines to gain political (party) advantage. Both parties do it, and they have spent a great deal of money to get it done. The more ragged the lines of your district, the more obvious that it (or the district next to it) has been gerrymandered. Our officials should be ashamed and embarrassed when their district’s boundaries are ragged, because it means they’ve been fooling around with voters.
California has been gerrymandered to death. It’s the reason that we Californians passed The Voters FIRST Act, approved in November 2008 as Proposition 11. Prop 20 further clarifies the redistricting process and specifically Prop 11.
I borrowed the basic idea from this Act to come up with a more reasonable way to address redistricting in all states which have gerrymandering problems. This can serve as the standard for the bill that goes to congress, describing the procedures for redistricting and based on the 10-year census.
For an excellent description of redistricting and gerrymandering, visit:
For more information about redistricting, this resource is one of the finest around: