Sunday, September 11, 2011

Solutions for "bizarre" district lines in Rapid City

Couldn't have said it better myself. Thank you, Donna!!

(Emphasis below mine.)

Find solutions for ‘bizarre’ district lines

Guess what? Proposed new legislative districts look like the old ones, including my District 33. One legislator even described its horseshoe shape as “bizarre.”

District 33 cannot be “walked” by campaigning candidates or “driven” efficiently like a truly rural area. The value of face-to-face meeting and knowing one’s legislator is lost.

Several existing districts are demographically muddled. Native and working-class neighborhoods are split among several districts in Rapid City. Whether intentional or not, the effect is to dilute power and disenfranchise whole groups, including rural residents.

I want to shout “Gerrymandering (making districts for the advantage of one party) — just like Texas!” I can find no other explanation for crazy boundaries.

It’s 2011 and time for change!

Reps. Lust, Gosch, Juhnke and Kirkeby, Sens. Rhoden and Bradford, please consider the following solutions for “bizarre” District 33:

1) Group subdivisions like Black Hawk, Piedmont, Red Rocks, etc., with urban areas, leaving more rural residents to outlying districts (29, 30 and 31);

2) Put all of North Rapid City into one district;

3) Add Box Elder and the north Valley to District 35.

Redistricting should create fair turf and reasonable geography so that legislators may do the work of the people.

Donna Fisher

Rapid City

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