Dear Editor:

Political power can be a strong force for good when used wisely and in concert with a strong set of values based on the needs of all the people an elected official represents. 

All too frequently, however, political power seduces otherwise well-intentioned “representatives of the people” to forsake both voters and their own better angels. 

Gerrymandering is a politician’s siren song, and its pull has led many politicians on both sides down a path of simply picking their voters rather than risk campaigning on their ideas and their record.

Gerrymandering has been cleverly weaponized today. Georgia is one of the most gerrymandered states in America. Our state government listens only to a minority of our citizens. As a result, vast numbers of voters are rendered voiceless and our representative democracy is silenced. 

We citizens have the power to do something about it, however.

The Georgia Democracy Act (SR52, HR369) is a bill up for consideration in 2020 that hogties gerrymandering and puts redistricting in the hands of an independent bipartisan group of Georgia citizens. It would use the power of our state constitution to mandate transparency and establish enforceable standards for how districts are drawn in Georgia. 

This fair and commonsense bill benefits Republicans, Democrats and independents alike. It ensures that our elections in Georgia are of, by and for the people. Contact your representatives in the legislature now and request that they get behind the Democracy Act when it comes up in 2020.

Melanie Smith

Statham

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