Letter: Utah’s legislative district maps need another revamp
I encourage citizens to support the civil suit brought by the members of League of Women Voters and the Mormon Women for Ethical Government filed against the legislature concerning the redistricting maps that have been drawn. Redistricting should not be the responsibility of the legislature as it is drawing maps that guarantee support for yourself.
The legislature represents the people, should be as non-partisan as possible, and communicate the interests of the people of the state. Proposition 4 created a method that allowed Utahns to have input and the legislature totally ignored it. There were many meetings and a lot of time spent by citizens truly studying the process and excellent options made available. Yet, the legislative body felt that they were much smarter and more adept at picking what the citizens of Utah wanted. What a waste of time and money not to mention a slap in the face of the citizens of Utah. Gerrymandering should not be a practice and yet that is exactly what happened.
While this lawsuit encompasses Salt Lake County, it sets a precedent for the whole state. Being a member of the legislature should mean you are representing your constituency not guaranteeing yourself a position where you can make decisions that help yourself or donators to your campaign. The legislature should be citizens representing citizens. Unfortunately, it has turned into citizens representing themselves.
Both organizations stand on the principle of empowering voters and adding voices of the community to the government of Utah. Ignoring the input of the citizens that the legislature should represent is nothing more than gerrymandering in its finest form. I feel strongly that the maps need to be thrown out and an independent committee be allowed to draw ones that don’t involve political interests or gerrymandering.