* From the twitters…
* But Mark Brown reports that some groups representing minorities are not happy with the Yes for Independent Maps proposal…
Jorge Sanchez, a senior litigator for MALDEF, said he is concerned the complicated system for picking the 11-member commission that will draw the map “creates very little opportunity for communities of color to have representation.” […]
Notably, Sylvia Puente of The Latino Policy Forum, which usually sides with MALDEF on redistricting matters, is endorsing the constitutional amendment. […]
But Shari Runner, a senior vice president at Chicago Urban League, which has played an important role over the years in protecting the rights of African-American voters in redistricting, also withheld support.
“While we have not endorsed the independent maps amendment, we are open to engaging in dialogue about redistricting,” the group said in a statement later. “That said, we believe that any proposal on redistricting reform must include protection of minority voters and minority representation. In its present form, we do not see any language in the proposed plan that addresses this concern.” […]
Michael Kolenc, campaign manager for Yes! For Independent Maps, argued the amendment contains specific language to prevent the commission from drawing legislative boundaries to “dilute or diminish the ability of a racial or language minority community to elect the candidates of its choice.” It also would require legislative leaders to use their four commission appointees to make sure it “reflects the geographic and demographic diversity of the state.”
…Adding… From Michael Kolenc…
No one came out against this measure yesterday at the ICPR forum. It was a very academic discussion. Further, MALDEF was part of the two-year process that drafted this amendment.
This is the criteria set forth in the amendment. We feel that this criteria, and the 100% transparency involved, will protect minority communities. We have lots of organizations in our coalition that are part of this effort for that very reason.
From the text of the amendment, that will be in the State Constitution if approved:
Contiguous, substantially equal in population, and in compliance with federal laws
Not drawn to dilute or diminish the ability of a racial or language minority community to elect the candidates of its choice
Respecting the geographic integrity of cities, towns, and other units of local government
Respecting the geographic integrity of communities sharing common social and economic interests
Not drawn to purposefully or significantly discriminate against or favor any political party or group, and not considering the residence of any person