FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 1, 2021
Salt Lake City, UT – The Utah Independent Redistricting Commission, created through a voter-approved proposition in 2018, presented its slate of recommended maps to the Legislative Redistricting Committee. During the meeting, Chase Thomas, executive director for Alliance for a Better Utah, gave the following public comment urging lawmakers to adopt maps from the Commission:
“Mr. Chairs and members of the committee,
“My name is Chase Thomas and I am here today representing Alliance for a Better Utah to ask you to adopt maps recommended by the Independent Redistricting Commission.
“Without repeating much of what has been said today, the reasons we would encourage you to adopt Commission maps include:
- Having been adopted by voters in 2018, this process is the closest expression of the will of the people that we have in this redistricting process.
- The amazing level of community engagement that we have seen from the public with the Commission, and its efforts to solicit various types and levels of engagement, and not just fully drawn maps.
- The open and transparent process by which the Commission drew and adopted its maps, including being open about the maps it was drawing and considering throughout the process and not just when it was time to adopt those maps.
- The more exhaustive criteria used by the Commission in drawing its maps, including its focus on keeping communities of interest together and its prohibition on considering partisan data or incumbents, ensuring that voters get to pick their representatives, not incumbents using boundary manipulation to select their voters.
“Ultimately, we believe that the maps presented by the UIRC reflect the needs of Utahns and our communities. Independent experts have analyzed the maps and given the Commission good marks on sticking to generally accepted redistricting principles. Utahns deserve fair voting maps and by adopting UIRC maps, we believe that you will be giving fair maps to the people of Utah.”
Alliance for a Better Utah is a nonprofit that holds politicians accountable and advocates for progressive policies that make Utah an even better place. The organization improves the lives of all Utahns through advocacy, transparency, and accountability in Utah politics, policy, and government. More information at www.betterutah.org.