Virginia Organizing Martinsville/Henry County Chapter leader Martha Woody, a resident of Martinsville, led the months-long campaign to pass the resolution and sees this resolution as a sign that things can change.
“It is our belief that the current gerrymandered districts in Virginia result in some people’s votes counting more than others,” Woody said. “In statewide elections last November, every single incumbent won, no matter how much money was spent on any campaign, demonstrating that the lines are drawn in an effort to protect incumbents instead of reflecting what voters want. Virginia Organizing believes it is time for voters to choose their representatives, rather than representatives choosing their voters.”
The Martinsville/Henry County Chapter will share this resolution in meetings with local legislators to encourage their support for the issue in the Virginia General Assembly. According to Woody, Chapter leaders hope to meet soon with Delegate Les Adams, who sits on the Privileges and Elections Committee’s Elections Subcommittee, a seven-member body that hears redistricting-related legislation before its consideration by the full committee and House of Delegates.
“I’m starting to see the power of grassroots organizing through Virginia Organizing,” said Dennis Hairston, a city native and leader in the Martinsville/Henry County Chapter of Virginia Organizing. “I’m thrilled that we’re starting to get the butcher’s thumb off the scale and returning to a more democratic form of government. Tonight is a victory for citizens against gerrymandering.”
The full text of the resolution can be found online on page 14 of the city council agenda. Martinsville joins 12 other localities that have adopted similar resolutions in support of redistricting reform.
To interview a spokesperson for Virginia Organizing, please contact Amanda Pohl at 804-337-1912 or email@example.com.
Virginia Organizing is a non-partisan statewide grassroots organization that brings people together to create a more just Virginia.