Gerrymandering film screening, forum scheduled

savwilliams@tidewaterreview.com

Peninsula Voices for Change will screen a film on Virginia's legislative maps and opening the floor for community discussion about gerrymandering on Aug. 22 at the Tabb Library in Yorktown.

The group aims to educate the community on how citizens can fight for more competitive elections, according to a news release about the event.

Christina Venderosa, a member of Peninsula Voices for Change's redistricting task force, said this event will educate the community about the origins of the districts, how those lines affect both Democratic and Republican voters and how to contact representatives about making a change.

Venderosa said it's not only a Virginia problem, but it is a poignant Virginia problem with a long history.

"In 2015, you had, I think, 71 out of 100 races or something close to that were uncontested," Venderosa said. "The other guy was going to win anyway, so what's the point?"

Richmond's Circuit Court ruled on March 31 against complaints from OneVirginia2021, a group that favors redistricting reform in Virginia. In the case, OneVirginia2021 challenged the constitutionality of 11 General Assembly districts, claiming their amorphous shapes deliberately favored Republicans.

The film, "GerryRIGGED: Turning Democracy On Its Head," aims to explain how electoral districts ended up in their current shapes. The documentary was coproduced by OneVirginia2021.

The panel after the film will be headed by Brian Cannon, Quentin Kidd and state Del. Mike Mullin, D-Newport News. Cannon is the executive director of OneVirginia2021, and Kidd is the dean of Christopher Newport University's College of Social Sciences.

Want to go?

Event: Gerrymandering film and forum

Time: 7 p.m.

Date: Aug. 22

Location: 100 Long Green Blvd., Yorktown

Cost: free

Register: Search "GerryRIGGED" at eventbrite.com

Copyright © 2017, The Virginia Gazette
36°