Veto Session: Governor offered 8 amendments to HR1598 and SB106 (identical bills), a subsequent amendment was the protection of Communities of Interest. Senate bill went by for the day = kills the bill because it was only a 1-day session; this was a recorded procedural vote. House brought up, Del Chris Jones said Governor had not conferred with him and he doesn’t support amendments. Recorded Vote = along party lines, but have a record of votes! Now Governor can sign the bill as originally presented or veto it outright. He has 30 days to do this.
Reports are that Sen Vogel wanted anti-gerrymandering in the Senate Bill. In the House, Del Landes wanted anti-gerrymandering in House Bill. The Bill that went to Government was a “right of center” bill; the Governor’s amendments made it a “left of center” bill. This shows that GOP still has no taste for a left of center redistricting criteria bill. Although 1VA2021 did have input to amendments, in general, Governor didn’t take this advice, went with broader amendments. 1VA2021 asked Governor to put in one phrase anti-gerrymandering, that was not included. Take away: keep it simple. Best policy strategy may be to side-step issues of “communities of interest” vs. “jurisdictional boundaries” and go with “no political gerrymandering.” Brian is conferring with National redistricting groups for advice and guidance for Constitutional Amendment work for next Legislative Session.
Brian asked local area groups to put together lists of people to contact to encourage consideration of no political gerrymandering. Also important to get the full weight of Governor’s support. Maybe possible if Medicaid expansion is “put to bed.” It is likely he will veto 2018 – SB106 and HB1598. But he will be the “backstop” for any redistricting proposals, even if don’t get an amendment. But the focus is on an amendment. Appreciate social media “warriors” for Governor’s amendments to redistricting criteria.
Learned a lot in the petition process about how to minimize mistakes and bad entries. Now people signing form do not have to enter city/state but only their street address and zip. Error: people added City/State in the street address line, which caused significant #s of errors. Important to tell friends when you ask them to sign the petition.
Poll Working: May 1 and June 12…..Local elections on May 1, Chesapeake, Hampton, Williamsburg, etc. about 300 people are signed up for poll working at local elections. June will be a bigger recruitment – already have 120 people signed up to work June 12 primary polls. Lots of volunteers in NOVA, Norfolk, and Roanoke. Link to sign up is in an update sent today, also on the Facebook page. There will be Facebook, video and other training available.
Brian has about 73,000 supporters. Target is 100,000 supporters before Fall Elections. Volunteers working Farmers’ Markets and many other local events. List of specially targeted precincts is confidential. But need work in every precinct.
Since March 1 has double the # of local action groups, 1VA2021 is planning at least monthly Local Area Group calls that incorporate training and strategy.
Brian: Thank you to all the volunteers. Suggest writing thank you notes to campaigns that include anti-gerrymandering in their solicitations – donating is up to you but a note to the candidate can be very helpful and keep attention on the issue.