The NJ State League is hitting the ground running in 2019 after leading the opposition to defeat the redistricting proposal that would have allowed for the partisan gerrymandering of New Jersey’s electoral districts. Over the last year, most local Leagues have hosted at least one public “Fair Districts” presentation. There’s no doubt that our informed and engaged membership and the relationships our local League leaders have developed with legislators were the two main reasons we were successful in our rapid-response opposition.
With the partisan gerrymandering bills off the table, we will continue to educate and empower voters across the state as we discuss what real redistricting reforms should look like. Very soon, we will be announcing a series of public forums in which we will present redistricting best practices and gather input from the public that we can share with lawmakers in our future redistricting conversations.
We will be calling on you to help promote these events within your communities and among your networks. The best way to keep lines of communication open between local Leagues and the State League is to designate a “Fair Districts liaison” among your membership. Leagues such as Morristown, Burlington County, and Lawrence Township have already organized subcommittees or have one member in regular communication with our staff member Helen Kioukis in order to bring information back to their League’s membership. This liaison is in addition to the League members and members of the public who have signed up to volunteer with the Fair Districts campaign through our website or by signing up at an educational forum. If there is someone from your League who might be interested in volunteering in this capacity, please reach out to Helen for more information.
We are proud to inform you that an academic working group has been formed to study best practices on redistricting. The group will be aligning its work with the League's public forums and plans to issue a report at the conclusion of those events. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nC7yB0CIsbsxvwXn4odOSa2RMLuTFzyyjd4xF0GpcYc/edit
HR-1 Legislative Visits
The 116th Congress is introducing a comprehensive package of reforms – H.R. 1: For the People Act – to improve our democracy and voting rights across the nation. The League of Women Voters of the United States has been working with coalition partners and Representatives on the Hill to shape the language of H.R. 1 and ensure democracy works for all.
In coordination with LWVUS, we are encouraging local Leagues to schedule district office visits with their members of Congress in the month of January to ask, “Will you support H.R. 1 and prioritize legislation that fixes our democracy?”
For more information on H.R. 1, https://www.lwv.org/blog/4-key-elements-hr1
League of Women Voters of New Jersey