IOWA SENATE DEMOCRATS
For Immediate Release: 9/30/2021
Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls:
“Let me be clear: There’s no legitimate reason for Legislative Republicans to reject this first map. If Republicans vote down the first map, that is a clear signal they are planning to gerrymander Iowa legislative districts to keep themselves in power. It will be an attack on democracy, and Democrats will fight it every step of the way.”
This Tuesday, October 5, the Iowa Legislature will consider new state and federal legislative districts which, if approved, would shape Iowa elections for the next 10 years.
Today Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls spoke at a virtual press conference with Iowa reporters. Video of his statement is available here: https://youtu.be/ms3W5kgaKZ4
DES MOINES—At today’s weekly media availability, Iowa Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls of Coralville delivered the following remarks, as prepared for delivery:
“Iowans deserve fair elections, and they know that starts with fair, nonpartisan district maps. That consensus was clearly reflected by the overwhelming majority of public comments made during last week’s hearings.
“There are some things for Republicans to like about these maps, and there are some things for Democrats to like – but most importantly – these are nonpartisan maps drawn without interference from politicians or political influence. That’s why I’ll be voting to approve these maps on October 5, and why my Republican colleagues should as well.
“For the last 40 years, Iowa legislative districts have been drawn on the basis of equal population, compactness, and respecting local civil boundaries when possible. These maps were drawn by nonpartisan staff without regard to where incumbent politicians live, past election results, or partisan advantage.
“Iowans want fair maps, maps that make sense and respect county and city boundaries when possible. That’s what they want and what they deserve.
“Here’s what Iowans don’t want: They don’t want one party using their political power to rig the game in their favor. They don’t want Republicans to gerrymander and lock Iowans out of their government.
“As we’ve seen in other states, partisan gerrymandering erodes our democracy, gives outsized influence to special interests, and creates a breeding ground for rampant corruption. Gerrymandering not only strips the minority party of their power, it also hurts Republican voters as well. Voters of both parties want their elected leaders to work together to solve the problems that hard working Iowans face. But a government controlled by a slim minority – and the special interests that fund their campaigns – won’t do anything to fix the challenges that we face as a state.
“Let me be clear: There’s no legitimate reason for Legislative Republicans to reject this first map. If Republicans vote down the first map, that is a clear signal they are planning to gerrymander Iowa legislative districts to keep themselves in power. It will be an attack on democracy, and Democrats will fight it every step of the way.
“Hopefully it does not come to that, and Republicans in the legislature have the opportunity to do the right thing on Tuesday and vote YES on the maps.”