Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), today, applauded the House of Representatives passage of H.R.1, the For The People Act–a sweeping and comprehensive voting rights, election security, ethics and clean election reform package. H.R.1 includes key provisions to restore election integrity taken from the Congressman’s previously introduced legislation, the Redistricting Reform Act.
“Democracy in our nation is facing a crisis,” Congressman Lowenthal said. “Voters are being actively suppressed in more than 40 states. Voters nationwide have been disenfranchised by a system that is dominated by gerrymandered districts where politicians pick their voters, and not the other way around. Perhaps even worse, dark money–billions flowing into elections with no transparency–has taken over the electoral system. At the same time, Republican state lawmakers are launching new attacks on voting rights in response to Donald Trump’s debunked and outrageous theories about fraud in the 2020 Election. We must fix this broken system and we must fix it now. I was proud to vote today to pass H.R. 1. This critical bill will give citizens the confidence that their voices and votes are heard and ensuring that our democracy is fair, secure, and representative of the people. Critical issues require extraordinary actions, and H.R. 1 is an important step toward restoring full faith and credit in our democracy.”
The Redistricting Reform Act language in H.R. 1 is a key component to protecting the voice of the people in the process. The Founders built the House of Representatives to be the chamber closest to the people, and therefore, must be accountable to the voters. For far too long, politicians have used gerrymandering to draw their own districts, choosing who will be voting for them. Requiring States to implement independent redistricting commissions, similar to California and Arizona, will restore the peoples voice in the process and make politicians accountable to the voters.
Congressman Lowenthal has been a longtime champion of redistricting reform and fought to end the practice of gerrymandering, both in California and at the federal level. The first bill he introduced in Congress, H.R.2978, the “Let the People Draw the Lines Act,” required states to implement independent redistricting commissions to end gerrymandering of Congressional districts and give citizens more direct control over the redistricting process.
In 2015, Congressman Lowenthal lead the bipartisan Member of Congress amicus brief to the Supreme Court supporting the right of citizens to establish independent redistricting commissions in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission.
In September 2017, Congressman Lowenthal also led the bipartisan Member of Congress amicus brief to the Supreme Court for Gill v. Whitford regarding extreme partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin, and later that year, he joined with colleagues in sending a bipartisan Member of Congress amicus brief in Benisek v. Lamone regarding extreme partisan gerrymandering in Maryland.
Congressman Lowenthal is also the coauthor of a bipartisan House resolution expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that congressional redistricting should be reformed to remove political gerrymandering.
While serving in the California State Legislature, Congressman Lowenthal introduced legislation to stop politicians from drawing their own legislative districts. This legislation helped paved the way for what eventually would become the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.