Andrews Participates in Gerrymander Meander
Montgomery County Councilmember Phil Andrews, a critic of the way the Maryland General Assembly re-drew Congressional boundary lines for political purposes, is expected to participate this weekend in a marathon three-day event Sept. 19-21 that will feature a 225-mile relay held by foot, bike, kayak and motorboat.
The “Gerrymander Meander” will be held around Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District to underscore grassroots opposition to the state being one of the most gerrymandered in the country, according to a news release from the county. Gerrymandering is a system that allows the party in power to stack the deck by drawing district lines in order to give its voters a majority in as many districts as possible without regard for the impact on communities. Maryland’s 3rd Congressional District, which includes a small portion of Montgomery County, has been one of the most criticized in the nation. It zigs and zags from Baltimore to Towson to Fort McHenry to Columbia to Olney to Laurel and Annapolis while hop-scotching into sections of Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Baltimore counties, according to the news release.
Common Cause Maryland, the League of Women Voters of Maryland and the National Council of Jewish Women Annapolis Section will sponsor the event that begins in Baltimore and ends in Annapolis. On arriving in the state capital, petitions demanding that the General Assembly replace gerrymandering with an open and fair drawing of district lines will be presented to the state’s gubernatorial nominees or their respective representatives.
Andrews plans to join the action by running the final two-and-a-half miles on Sept. 21, as the marathon moves toward the state capitol in Annapolis.
“Maryland’s Congressional map is so blatantly gerrymandered that District 3 looks like blood spatter from a crime scene, ridiculously including the far-flung communities of Annapolis, Towson and parts of Silver Spring, while excluding most communities between,” said Councilmember Andrews. “More than half of Montgomery County residents were moved to a different Congressional district—almost all of them moved for purely political reasons.”
The first phase of the meander (206 miles) is set to go nonstop for 36 hours, from 10 a.m. Friday to 10 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday morning, the runners will complete the final legs that will cover 19 miles to and around Annapolis. About two dozen runners and bikers, along with support crews, are expected to participate.