Redistricting Reform & Gerrymandering

Let me clarify a few things about my position on Proposal 285, a non-binding resolution that encourages redistricting reform. It goes to the Council Community Affairs Committee tonight. The full resolution can be read here: http://www.indy.gov/eGov/Council/Proposals/Documents/2017/PROP17-285.pdf

Since my election, I have had dozens (probably hundreds) of conversations with constituents about the complexity and necessity of redistricting reform. It is obvious that this is an issue of utmost importance in my district and around the state.

Redistricting is incredibly complicated. The more I learn, the more I realize that it is both necessary and challenging to move forward in a way that the majority views as fair. There are many issues at play: keeping neighborhoods together, NOT factoring in incumbent elected officials, creating competitive districts, and more. Generally speaking, I like the parameters spelled out in resolution 285. Because it is a non-binding resolution, a symbolic vote, I am happy to support it. If it had any action attached, I would want to take a deeper dive into these priorities. 

To be clear, I do support redistricting reform. I have never said otherwise. I did not, however, co-sponsor Proposal 285. One of my enthusiastic colleagues decided that for me without my permission, putting me in the now awkward situation of correcting the misconception, especially since I do support the measure in general.

Further, I did not reverse my position. Because this is the first time I have spoken publicly on the issue, there was no previous position to reverse. I have never planned NOT to support this proposal. As it is a non-binding resolution, I did not intend to speak publicly until I cast my vote, but I’m happy to clarify my position now.

When I sponsor proposals, I do it carefully and responsibly, which means I am fully educated on the issue, and have vetted all associated challenges and possible solutions. I know enough about redistricting reform to know that it is important to my constituents, but also that I need to learn more, and I plan to do so. Being pragmatic, I have prioritized my time and focus on action-oriented items like the budget and urgent infrastructure and development issues. Knowing that my constituents care (a lot!) about redistricting reform is enough for me to support resolution 285 for now, without adding my name as a co-sponsor.

What do I think about Redistricting Reform? I really like what the Enterprise Republicans said in their letter of support, so I’ll link to that here. I’ll be learning more about the issue as it gathers momentum and when I’ll have the chance to testify or vote on a measure that would affect positive change.

Redistricting Reform Resolution LetterRedistricting Reform Resolution Letter