News Release: inherent conflict of interest after Oregon Legislature releases first drafts of district maps

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
September 3, 2021

MEDIA CONTACT
Norman Turrill (503) 807-4863

People Not Politicians highlights inherent conflict of interest after Oregon Legislature releases first drafts of district maps

PORTLAND—People Not Politicians released the following statement today (Sep 3) after the Oregon House and Senate Redistricting Committees released their first legislative and congressional district map drafts.

“There is no amount of technical savvy or sophisticated mapping software that removes the inherent conflict of interest that exists when partisan legislators are given the benefit of drawing their own electoral lines—the fox is guarding the henhouse, ” said Norman Turrill, Chair of People Not Politicians. “Oregon voters should be choosing their politicians, not the other way around.”

Kate Titus, Executive Director of Common Cause Oregon said, “I appreciate both the legislative and public leadership to tackle this critical task of drawing new political district lines. However, these maps, or any variations thereof, will still require a vote of a partisan legislative body and Governor, or if they fail that process, of a partisan Secretary of State. This is not good enough. We need to do what an overwhelming majority of Oregonians support—create an Independent Citizens’ Redistricting Commission to draw these maps.”

In late 2019, People Not Politicians enlisted Lake Research Partners to run a statewide poll. Results showed an average 76% of Democrats, 67% of Independents, and 60% of Republicans favor an Independent Citizens’ Redistricting Commission.

People Not Politicians has introduced Initiative Petition 16 for the November 2022 ballot, to put in place an independent citizen’s redistricting commission to redraw district lines in 2024. Initiative Petition 16 is similar to 2020’s IP 57 which narrowly fell short of making the ballot only after Oregon Democratic Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum filed numerous legal challenges and delayed the process, despite a federal judge ruling in favor of the Committee last year.

“In the midst of voter suppression efforts nationally, we must lead with integrity in Oregon and make sure third parties and historically underrepresented communities are not left out of the process,” said Eric Richardson, Executive Director Eugene-Springfield NAACP.

The People Not Politicians coalition includes a full spectrum of Oregon’s voices for an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission: Common Cause Oregon, the League of Women Voters, the Independent Party of Oregon, the NAACP, the Oregon Farm Bureau and others.

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Date: 2021-09-04 09:30

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