By Shereen Siewert
Trustees in Weston will vote next week on a proposed nonpartisan redistricting resolution.
Trustee Nate Fiene is introducing the resolution calling for fair maps and said elected officials should have to earn their constituents’ votes.
“In a representative democracy, the voters should pick their representatives,” Fiene said. “Gerrymandering is an anti-democratic tool where politicians pick their voters.”
To date, 51 of 72 counties in Wisconsin have by now supported nonpartisan redistricting, either through a referendum, a county board resolution or both. In the most recent election, nine counties had nonbinding referendums asking people if they want independent, nonpartisan redistricting, and all nine voted overwhelmingly in favor. Fifteen communities in northern Wisconsin held advisory referendums in April on banning gerrymandering, and they passed by lopsided margins there, as well.
Fiene said he is optimistic about the resolution’s chance to pass in Weston.
“By forcing elected officials to work for their constituent’s votes, the democratic process will be strengthened and bonds of trust in our political process will begin to be restored,” Fiene said.
The full resolution, which will come up for a vote on Monday, is below:
Creating a Nonpartisan Procedure for the Preparation of State Legislative and Congressional Redistricting
WHEREAS the Wisconsin State Legislature is directed to reapportion State legislative districts after the decennial census under Article IV, Section III of the Wisconsin State Constitution; and
WHEREAS at the same time, the Wisconsin State Legislature also reapportions Congressional districts under Article I, Section II of the United States Constitution; and
WHEREAS redistricting plans are used to elect State and Federal Representatives in the second year following the year of the census; and
WHEREAS in a representative democracy, the will of the voters decides the victors in elections;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Village of Weston Board of Trustees supports the creation of a nonpartisan procedure for the preparation of state legislative and congressional redistricting plans without consideration of voting patterns, political party information, or incumbent official residential information.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Village of Weston Board of Trustees opposes any and all attempts to dilute or distort the right of fair and equal representation afforded to all Wisconsin citizens under the State and Federal constitutions.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Village of Weston Board of Trustees strong encourages the cooperation of the Wisconsin Executive and Legislative branches of Government to enact bipartisan legislation to create a fair and nonpartisan process for redrawing districts as well as promoting transparency and accountability within the process itself. BE IF FURTHER RESOLVED by the Village of Weston Board of Trustees that it directs the Village of Weston Clerk to forward a copy of this Resolution to Governor Tony Evers, all members of the Wisconsin Legislature that represent the Village of Weston, and League of Wisconsin Municipalities.