Utahns Should Act Now to Have a Voice Across Political Borders | Opinion
Every 10 years, once the census is completed, our state has the unique opportunity to engage in the redistribution process. The Utah Constitution designates the authority to draw district boundaries with the legislature, and we take that responsibility seriously.
As members of the bipartite Utah Legislative Redistribution Committee, we are engaged in a statewide public engagement effort of traveling around the state, conducting legislative hearings to gather public feedback on the maps that will be drawn. So far we’ve been to Grantsville, Salt Lake City, Rose Park, Ogden, and Logan. And we have many more hearings in the coming weeks.
While several residents presented their own cards and we appreciate their willingness to engage in the process, many of our meetings were uncrowded. Sometimes only a few dozen residents were present.
It is amazing how many people have complained about the results of redistribution in the past, yet so few engage in the process. If you’re a Utah resident who cares about the appearance of your state chamber, Senate, congressional representation, or school board, now is the time to speak up.
Today, there are plenty of opportunities to weigh in. Independent constituency commission, which by design operates separately but alongside the legislative committee, gives the Utahns additional opportunities to have their ideas heard.
By not engaging in the process now, those who later complain about the proposed district boundaries for members of Congress, Legislative Assembly, and school boards will have less credit once the Legislature brings together. all maps suggested in November. Now is the time to join us – whether it’s while we’re in your community or virtually from your home, we want to hear from you.
So far in the meetings, we have found it extremely helpful for voters to introduce themselves and share the story of their community, the challenges they face and what they would like to see moving forward.
Here are some recommendations on what you can do to get started in the redistribution process:
- Attend one of our upcoming committee meetings in person or virtually: The list of upcoming public meetings of the Legislative Boundaries Committee can be found here: https://redistricting.utah.gov/town-halls/. While we’d love to show you a map you’ve drawn, we’re also looking for feedback and recommendations, you can share your ideas in public comment.
- Take the time to draw and submit your own maps. The process of drawing and submitting a map using the map drawing software is here: https://redistricting.utah.gov/maps/. Once you’ve come up with a map idea, submit it for public view and join us at one of our meetings to present your map. (Be sure to tell us about it so that it really gets taken into account!)
- Follow us on social media to stay up to date, you can follow us on Facebook @UtahLegislativeReditricingCommittee and on Twitter @RedistrictUtah.
Please make this a priority. Do not put it back. Bring your family, invite a friend or neighbor to come with you to see how the process works. This is one unique opportunity per decade. Our state will be better served if more people from across the political spectrum are involved in the process. Join us.
Rep. Andrew Stoddard, D-Sandy, and Rep. Candice Pierucci, R-Herriman, are both members of the Utah Legislative Redistribution Committee.