Sign-up header

Enter your email address to receive important updates


Email Address:

signup bottom

Richmond First Club Urges Gov.-Elect McDonnell To Appoint Blue Ribbon Commission to Move Forward with Bipartisan Redistricting

The letter below has been sent to Governor-Elect Bob McDonnell and his transition team to note the support of Richmond First Club for bipartisan decennial redistricting. Club board members voted to send the letter in response to the Governor-Elect McDonnell’s support of bipartisan redistricting during his campaign.

P.O. Box 344
Richmond, VA 23218-0344

November 23, 2009

Governor-Elect Bob McDonnell
P.O. Box 588
Richmond, VA 23218-0588

Re: Bipartisan Decennial Redistricting 2010-201

Dear Governor-Elect McDonnell:

I am writing to you as the next governor of Virginia on behalf of the Richmond First Club (RFC) on the topic of the upcoming decennial redistricting for the Commonwealth of Virginia. We are a non-partisan civic organization that was founded in 1919 for the active study of and involvement in issues on and solutions for good government in the Richmond area. We trust that you are familiar with RFC and our long history, with club members from across the political spectrum working for the good of the people rather than political parties.

During the recent election, we were pleased to note your positive positions on reform for open and honest government, including increasing voter participation, as set forth on your campaign website, and particularly the specific topic of bipartisan redistricting. We now note that following your election your website has changed from campaign mode to transition for your governorship, and we remain pleased to see that your section on Issues has maintained your positions and statements on Government Reform that still include bipartisan redistricting (but we further note that this information is not yet on your new “McDonnellTransition” website).

We hereby state our hope and support for your good intentions and plans for the upcoming redistricting. We are aware of the history on this topic by both major political parties, whereby the party in power traditionally takes advantage of the redistricting to strengthen its hand and favor its incumbents and candidates for future elections, as part of the so-called political spoils system. While this has been the conventional thinking and practice, it is contrary to voter participation and produces gerrymandering of electoral districts that are safe or non-competitive with elected representatives who may therefore not be responsive to the citizenry.

Previous attempts to reform this partisan practice have been made but failed to survive the political sausage making process at the General Assembly. We are now optimistic and hopefully not being naïve that this time will be different as a result of your stated position and leadership as the new governor and elected head of the Virginia Republican Party. While the two houses of the General Assembly have split Republican and Democrat majorities who may still have the traditional agendas, we trust that you have the support and assistance of Lieutenant Governor-Elect Bill Bolling plus Attorney General-Elect Ken Cuccinelli to join and work with you on this.

In simple historic terms, we favor and work for the historic concept of government “of the people, by the people and for the people”, rather than for the political parties. Consequently, we also advocate for electoral districts with commonsense and compact geographical boundaries and communities of interest to the extent possible, in order to encourage and facilitate voter awareness and participation, as the proper goal for redistricting.

We hope this can and will be done by appropriate legislation and rules, but regardless of whatever steps the General Assembly may take we also support your proposed bipartisan blue ribbon panel or commission, to provide ample opportunity statewide from beginning to end for citizen access and input plus wise, experienced and concerned panel or commission members, with early and ready access to maps and related data for various proposals and alternatives, plus easy communication and interaction through various means of open regional meetings and by letters, phone and websites for consideration, deliberation and recommendation to the General Assembly. By all means this should be an open, transparent and accountable process, both in procedure and substance, for the citizens that will set an example and precedent to help instill greater confidence and trust in our state government and elected representatives.

We thank you for your thoughtful concern and leadership for bipartisan redistricting. Please stay the course and bring this to a successful conclusion for the citizens of Virginia. Please also let us know what the RFC can do to help in this matter.


Jonathan B. Macdonald, Secretary
Richmond First Club

Cc: Lt. Gov.-Elect Bill Bolling
      Att. Gen.-Elect Ken Cuccinelli
      Phil Cox, Transition Director
      Tucker Martin, Director of Communications



Home  |   About  |   Advocacy  |   Meetings  |   Speakers  |   Membership  |   Links  |   News & Views
©  2004-2009     Richmond First Club                Site developed by Fidato Management Group