Salt Lake City, UT – During a hearing of the House Government Operations Committee today, the Alliance for a Better Utah testified in support of Rep. Merrill Nelson’s HJR 1, “Joint Rules Resolution on Redistricting Standards.” This resolution would establish principles and procedures for the legislature to follow during the next redistricting process in 2021.
The principles and procedures contained in HJR 1 would ensure districts would be “reasonably compact,” follow “county and municipal boundaries,” and keep communities of interests together, specifically commercial interests. These and the other standards established would ensure Utah citizens are fairly and proportionately represented in their government.
In addition to his committee testimony, Chase Thomas, Alliance for a Better Utah’s Policy and Advocacy Counsel, issued the following statement:
“The Alliance for a Better Utah is committed to ensuring Utah citizens are fairly and proportionately represented in their government. We were extremely involved in monitoring the last redistricting process in 2011 and will continue to advocate for a fairer, more transparent process for 2021. We encourage the legislature to consider strengthening these rules by explicitly stating that partisan and electoral data cannot be used in analyzing and prioritizing maps, and that boundaries should not be drawn with consideration to current elected officials and ensuring they are able to maintain their seat. However, we believe this resolution is a good first step towards creating a redistricting process whereby the people can hold their legislators accountable for ensuring every Utahns’ voice is heard.”