As reported in an Associated Press article yesterday, there is an extensive effort underway to significantly reduce the number of Black majority voting districts in Virginia. The proposed maps would reduce Black majority voting districts from 11 to seven if approved by the state Supreme Court.
I was interviewed for the article, and made my position clear that this attack on Black voters’ rights has been permitted by Democrats, who have not done enough to stand up for their constituents.
The Democrat-controlled legislature introduced and passed the legislation. The Governor had previously stated that he would veto such legislation permitting the results we see emanating therefrom.
When I served in the State Senate, I sponsored and got passed the single member districts in the House, having worked to achieve that in the Senate. As Governor, I made certain that at least one Congressional district could elect a minority representative. I continued that vigilance in the redrawing of the second similar situated district.
“Who speaks for those people who have been historically denied through the centuries in Virginia? What groups have you heard coming forth?” I asked. “I’ll wait.”
Relying on a so-called independent commission to draw up the new maps has only exacerbated this systematic exclusion. Examining the history of Black voting, especially in the South, reveals that our elected leaders need to do much more to protect the voting process and represent the voices of the people.
As I stated, I’m still waiting, while the world turns.