Congressman Lowenthal Introduces Bill to Take Politics Out of Redistricting and End Gerrymandering
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Seeking to take the politics out of Congressional redistricting, Congressman Alan Lowenthal on Friday introduced his first authored bill, H.R. 2978, the ‘Let The People Draw The Lines Act.'
The bill sets clear and uniform national guidelines for redistricting that require each state to put in place independent citizen panels to draw new congressional districts every ten years.
"The ‘Let The People Draw The Lines Act' does exactly what the title says – it lets the people, not the politicians, draw the district lines for the U.S. House of Representatives," Congressman Lowenthal said. "This bill provides clear and uniform redistricting criteria that give all communities a fair and equal voice in the political process. The entire process will be transparent and open to the public – the way it should be. My bill will give citizens in every state the same ability Californians now have to choose their congressional district boundaries without the influence and gamesmanship of politics."
Currently, congressional districts are too often subject to partisan politics , resulting in gerrymandering – where districts are drawn in ridiculous shapes and cover vast areas to obtain a desired combination of voters to ensure a certain party's candidates have the electoral advantage.
The bill would help each state set up independent redistricting utilizing citizen panels to redraw Congressional district lines, a process which occurs following each decennial census. In most states, redistricting is either directly overseen, influenced, or controlled by state legislatures and governors.
Congressman Lowenthal led the charge on this issue while in the California State Legislature and his work eventually led to a citizens' initiative that gave California an independent redistricting commission. One of the champions of the California initiative, Common Cause, said they were pleased that Congressman Lowenthal is continuing his efforts on independent redistricting in Congress.
"Voters should pick their politicians, instead of politicians picking their voters," Senior VP for Strategy and Programs at Common Cause, Karen Hobert Flynn, said. "Congressman Lowenthal should be commended for his efforts to ensure that voters have true choices at the ballot box, and we look forward to working with him to advance this important legislation."
Congressman Alan Lowenthal represents the 47th District of California which includes the cities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Signal Hill, Avalon, Los Alamitos, Rossmoor, Cypress, Westminster, Garden Grove, Buena Park, and Stanton.