Some Elected Leaders Oppose Question 5

Montgomery County Council-member Phil Andrews will be joined at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 15, by other elected officials including fellow Council members, State Delegates, Council members from Rockville and Gaithersburg, and community leaders to express their opposition to Maryland Ballot Question 5 regarding the redrawn Congressional districts currently in place in the state.

The event will be held in the Third Floor Conference Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville.

Following the 2010 Census, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley proposed redrawn boundaries for the eight Maryland Congressional districts. The General Assembly approved the new districts, but opponents gathered enough signatures to place a referendum on the November ballot challenging the boundaries. If a majority of voters oppose Question 5, it would not affect the 2012 Congressional results. However, the Governor and General Assembly would be required to redraw the boundaries for the 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 elections. Repeal also could lead to the establishment of an independent redistricting commission, as numerous other states have done.

“Maryland’s new 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 Council-member Andrews. “More than half of Montgomery County residents were moved to a different Congressional district—almost all of them moved for purely political reasons.

“Fortunately, Democrats and Republicans opposed to the new Congressional district lines gathered enough petition signatures to give Marylanders the opportunity to repeal this gerrymander in November by voting against Question 5. Since political parties gerrymander whenever they can, Maryland needs an independent redistricting commission, a model used by several states. But there is no chance the Governor and General Assembly will establish one unless Marylanders first reject this extreme gerrymander by voting against Question 5.”

Among those expected to attend Monday’s event are Montgomery County Council-members Marc Elrich, Valerie Ervin, Nancy Floreen, Nancy Navarro, Craig Rice and Hans Riemer; State Delegates Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-Montgomery) and Aisha Braveboy (D-Prince George’s); Rockville Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio; Rockville City Council-members Tom Moore, Bridget Newton and Mark Pierzchala; Gaithersburg City Councilmembers Jud Ashman and Cathy Drzyzgula; and Takoma Park City Council-member Seth Grimes.

Others expected to attend Monday’s event include a representative of Common Cause of Maryland; Democratic precinct chairs Michael Cogan, Margaret Greene and Steve Shapiro; businessman/philanthropist Josh Rales; and community leaders Art Brodsky and Michael Lin.

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