Nebraska is Red
But getting more Blue
If we get gerrymandered again
All that progress will fall through
Nothing says true love like…
This Valentine’s Day, get your progressive bae the best possible gift…
A letter to the Unicameral’s Executive Board urging them to advance legislation that will prevent the Republicans from the gerrymandering that represses the will of the people.
This Valentines Day (Thursday), the Executive board will be hearing four bills that address the gerrymandering that has delivered us the Fart and his Congressional colleagues, Don Bacon and Adrian Smith (who doesn’t believe food is a human right). While there are infinite laughs to be had over ol’ John Fartenberry’s googly eyes, redistricting him out of existence would be so much sweeter.
These redistricting bills are especially important ahead of the 2020. In addition to the presidential election, 2020 brings the next round of the Census. Every 10 years we count Americans and use that data to cut our country up into Congressional districts. By abusing this system, Republicans have cut the country up into the most frustrating jigsaw puzzle that’s ever existed.
Since there are a few different Redistricting bill options, I’m not going to tell you which ones to support. They’re all good and would make sure that Redistricting was done in a variety of independent ways and not by Petey Ricketts’ and his daddy’s money.
Senator McCollister introduced LB 253. This bill would create the Independent Redistricting Citizens’ Advisory Commission. Members of this commission will be
- A resident of Nebraska
- Be a registered voter, who at the time of appointment, has not changed political party affiliation within the previous 24 months.
- Not be a registered lobbyist and at the time of appointment, not been a registered lobbyist within the previous 24 months
- Not be a public officeholder in Nebraska nor a holder of a political party office in Nebraska or the United States
- A candidate for elective office while on the Commission
- Not a relative of or employed by
- A member of the United States Congress
- A Constitutional officer
- the University of Nebraska
Senator DeBoer introduced LB 261. This bill would require the use of state-issued software to draw the district maps.
Senator Howard introduced LB 466. This bill would require that maps be drawn by state-issued software using politically neutral criteria including:
- Equal population
- No political affiliation
- No previous voting data
- Only data and demographic information from the United States Bureau of the Census
- Deference to the county and municipal boundary lines when appropriate
- Contiguous districts
Senator Vargas introduced LB 467. This bill would prohibit* consideration of certain factors for the purpose of drawing district boundaries including:
- The political affiliation of registered voters
- Demographic information other than population figures
- The results of previous elections
*Except as may be required by Federal Law and the Constitution of the United States
So grab a bottle of wine and some chocolate hearts, put on something comfy and curl up in bed to write to the Executive Board about Independent Redistricting. Send it in by Wednesday, February 13th at 5:00pm and we promise your sweetheart with thank you.
Other gifts for Bae
Whatever gets your bae’s political rocks off, this week offers plenty of opportunities for that just right gift. You can view the Unicameral calendar here. We predict some serious action if you write or testify on the following bills this week:
- It is too late to write for Monday’s Business and Labor hearings, but if you can show up to testify in Room 1524 at 1:30, all of the bills up this week protect and support workers.
- Ditto on the Noon Executive Committee LB238– Provide for a climate change study. Show up and testify.
- Thursday (emails Wednesday at 5:00pm, you know the drill)
Judiciary will hear several bills relating to school resource officers, including PPB’s LB390, which would clarify the duties of police officers in schools, which communities groups pushed for last year in Lincoln. Going even further, Ernie Chambers has brought LB589, which would prohibit police from serving in schools. If you would like to read a summary of research on SROs, Sarah Zee of Seeing Red put together this file at the request of Lincoln’s chief of police.
That’s it for now! Remember, written testimony must be received by 5:00pm on the prior business day.