Opinion: Partisan gerrymandering divided Millcreek into 4 districts — what’s being done?
Utah voters deserve to to organize as a community and vote in the same district. Utah’s independent redistricting committee can solve partisan gerrymandering if we support their decisions.
When popular opinion and doing what’s right intersect, decisions are easy. We both are running for state legislature, having won our primary elections and run campaigns focused on preserving Utah’s independent redistricting commission to end partisan gerrymandering. As candidates for Utah Senate, we were endorsed and supported by the Better Boundaries Accountability PAC, focused on fairness in redistricting.
We both ran to represent districts that include Millcreek among other cities. At the congressional level, Millcreek is the epicenter of the legislature’s extreme partisan gerrymander. A city of just around 60,000 was parsed into all four of Utah’s congressional districts. Rather than being able to use their collective voice, Millcreek residents have been paired with residents of counties and cities hundreds of miles away.
Our constituents are best represented when they can organize as a community and petition elected officials on issues that matter to them. Any map seeking to protect an incumbent or partisan political interest at the expense of a community’s collective political voice should never be on the table.
In 2018, Utahns voted to approve an independent redistricting commission. Leadership in our state Legislature ignored the maps set forward by the independent redistricting commission and instead passed their own. This issue is now in the hands of the Utah courts after a lawsuit was filed claiming an extreme partisan gerrymander and asking the courts to allow the commission to draw the maps going forward.
Utahns can and should continue to let their state legislators know they want to pick their representatives and not the other way around.
We are grateful for the support of Better Boundaries Accountability PAC in our primary races and look forward to representing our friends and neighbors in our state senate districts. We pledge to continue to advocate for community-based redistricting, to preserve the independent redistricting commission and to listen to our constituents’ needs over partisan political interests.
Nate Blouin is the Democratic nominee for Senate District 13.
Stephanie Pitcher is the Democratic nominee for Senate District 14.