The title of this column is no joke. Given the recent national discussion of rats in cities like Baltimore, Maryland you would think that the word “rat” would be triggering. But not for Democrats.
In an August 14th, 2019 email titled “will you host a book club event?” American transgender rights activist and Deputy Director of All On The Line Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, wrote:
Our team here at All On The Line is really excited for our first-ever book club night — we have local events registered in communities all across the country! Can we count on you to host a book club event?
Sign up to host an AOTL book club event in your community on August 29 at 8 p.m. ET!
As I started reading the book, this quote from the introduction really stood out to me and centers the reason why we chose “Ratf**ked” as our first book:
“This is the story of the actual redrawing of the American political map and of our democracy itself. It’s the story of how Republicans turned a looming demographic disaster into legislative majorities so unbreakable, so impregnable, that none of the outcomes are in doubt until after the 2020 census… It is legal, it’s breathtaking, and much of it happened in plain sight.”
In order to address map manipulation and end gerrymandering, we need to understand how our maps became this messed up in the first place. Author David Daley spells out how one party rewrote the rules and redrew lines to maintain their power — and how those gerrymandered maps impacted policy and progress for a decade.
But we have a chance to secure fair maps in 2021, and that’s why we’re building this movement! I hope you’ll host a local book club event this month to learn more from Daley himself, and then hear from AOTL about the fight to end gerrymandering and how you can get involved.
All On The Line is the grassroots advocacy campaign supported by the National Redistricting Action Fund. According to the National Redistricting Action Fund part of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee website:
In a critically powerful step in our fight to restore fairness to our democracy, the NDRC’s 501(c)(4) affiliate, the National Redistricting Action Fund (NRAF), and Organizing for Action (OFA) are combining forces to go all-in on the fight to end gerrymandering and to have a government that better represents the people. By incorporating OFA’s grassroots infrastructure fully into our efforts, NRAF will engage this powerful grassroots network to organize, educate, and engage supporters both in the digital space and on the ground to restore fair representation to Congress and state legislatures.
The problem is the email doesn’t mention the June 27th, 2019 U.S. Supreme Court decision on gerrymandering. In the New York Times article “Supreme Court Bars Challenges to Partisan Gerrymandering”
The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that federal courts are powerless to hear challenges to partisan gerrymandering, the practice in which the party that controls the state legislature draws voting maps to help elect its candidates.
The vote was 5 to 4, with the court’s more conservative members in the majority. In a momentous decision, the court closed the door on such claims.
The drafters of the Constitution, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority, understood that politics would play a role in drawing election districts when they gave the task to state legislatures. Judges, the chief justice said, are not entitled to second-guess lawmakers’ judgments.
So how does All On The Line, the National Redistricting Action Fund and Obama’s Organizing for Action intend to solve “map manipulation and end gerrymandering?” The only way to do that is for Democrats to retake control of state legislatures and do their own gerrymandering.
This is their goal. Make no mistake about it. Obama and Raffi Freedman-Gurspan want to end Republican gerrymandering and replace it with Democratic gerrymandering.
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