Petition 50: Political Redistricting effort gains steam

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This past Sunday Oregonian columnist Elizabeth Hovde had an excellent column on the effort to bring redistricting reform to Oregon and end political gerrymandering of the state’s legislative districts. This is an issue that has broad bipartisan appeal. Californians passed a similar redistricting measure in November 2008, 51 to 49 percent. Supporters included AARP, California Common Cause, League of Women Voters, LA Chamber of Commerce, Governor Ahhnold and former White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta. Reasons for success included support of Democrats and “good government” forces as well as electorate that was mad over budget problems.

It can happen here. The Oregon initiative would take the authority for legislative redistricting away from the legislature and secretary of state and create of panel of retired circuit judges to draw legislative districts here. The approach wouldn’t favor Republicans or Democrats. Just voters. Legislators will not longer be choosing their own voters; voters will be choosing their legislators.

Read Hovde’s column ( and go to the Petition 50 website ( where you can download a postage-paid single-signature petition to sign or volunteer to help.