Saxman, who heads pro-business group Virginia Free, has expressed optimism about the group’s success. “I think things will work out eventually with a possible compromise, which was the goal from the start.”
The committee has a very busy schedule from Monday’s production of proposed statewide legislative maps to final handover of cards for the General Assembly in 14 days and the production of 11 new congressional districts 15 days plus late.
Michael Rodemeyer, who chaired a Charlottesville chapter of the OneVirginia2021 redistribution reform group, said the eight members of the Citizens’ Committee naturally needed time to get up to speed. Whatever compromise the commission ultimately adopts, “we will always have fairer districts without either party being able to rig the system to their own advantage.”
“The more open question is to what extent the commission will be able to withstand pressure from both parties to protect the incumbents, given that its proposal must pass the General Assembly,” he said. “The decision to create maps from scratch, rather than tinkering with existing neighborhoods, is an encouraging sign. “
Liz White, executive director of OneVirginia2021, said a tough start has been replaced by a better spirit of compromise in recent weeks.
And, if the commission’s work is not accepted by the General Assembly, one can count on special masters hired by the Supreme Court of Virginia to draw fairer and more compact districts than the ugly and selfish old gerrymanders of the legislature.