Election Redistricting: Dirty Deeds Done in Secret
by Christopher Cormier,
Stratford Democratic Town Council Vice Chair
This week the residents in District 2 and many other town residents attended the Stratford Town Council Meeting after hearing that the Council intended to vote on a redistricting plan submitted by the Redistricting Committee. The entire plan and its changes to the current plan was based on the intent to Gerrymander one council member out of her district.
The Democratic Minority of the Redistricting Committee tirelessly researched the data and statutes and concluded that Stratford, based on the most recent census data, did not require redistricting as we still fell within the set parameters. The Republican Majority of the Committee blocked the Dem’s proposed plan from even being introduced.
At the next meeting, a plan was presented by the Republican Majority and pushed through with ZERO data presented by them. When the vote was called (with no discussion), the Democratic Minority abstained. The Committee erroneously recorded the vote as 5-0 in favor when it was 3-2 or even 3-0 with the Democratic Minority abstaining.
The data and detailed maps to this supposedly approved plan are out, and we now see the reason for the lockout from the Republican led commission. The Town Council did not provide the public the details to this plan or maps as they were included in their Pony (meeting agenda, paperwork and data). The public has had to scratch the information together as it wasn’t included as part of the notifications to the residents for the council meeting.
By Statute, based on the US Census, every 10 years, we are obligated to REVIEW district boundaries. The Republican led Redistricting Committee submitted a plan that makes very little changes, EXCEPT FOR THE FACT THAT THEY HAVE GERRYMANDERED COUNCILWOMAN SHAKE OUT OF DISTRICT 2! The new line literally cuts down the middle of her street, placing her in District 7 by FEET.
Many residents spoke at the council meeting, pleading with them not to pass the tainted plan. We begged them to order the Committee to go back and fix it.
Cutting down Councilwoman Shake’s street to scoop her into District 7 is disgusting and dirty play. If there were a picture for the word “Gerrymandering” in the dictionary, THIS MAP WOULD BE IT.
We specifically in District 2 and Stratford citizens in general have been lucky to have an honest and caring public servant such as councilwoman Kaitlyn Shake for the last 4 years. She has continually tried to work positively as the Minority Leader with an opposition that has rarely been receptive or respectful. She does not deserve to be railroaded because one person doesn’t think that she can be beat in an honest election, and we deserve to have our duly and repeatedly elected representative afforded the opportunity for a fair election in November and the dirty game play stopped. The Town Council Majority needs to find their conscience.
Bravo Chris! If this blatant action on the part of Stratford Republicans doesn’t stir citizens to vote for change, nothing will.