Amendment 1 is a good compromise
In his letter of Oct. 14 [“Amendment 1 is undemocratic power grab”], Benjamin Litchfield writes “... I worry deeply about the concentration of power in the hands of people I did not vote for and that I cannot vote against.” I hope that he realizes that that is exactly what we have now!
Of the 140 Virginia legislators, he personally can only vote for two—his senator and his delegate to the General Assembly. If either of them doesn’t vote the way he wants them to, he can certainly vote against one or both of them next time around, but by then the “damage” would be done.
I also hope he realizes that if Amendment 1 is approved, the legislature can establish criteria for citizen commissioners. His legislators would participate in establishing those criteria. Again, he could vote against them next time around if he doesn’t like it.
On the very positive side, the new commission would have full transparency, with open meetings and public hearings, neither of which we now have. If the amendment passes, it will be in effect for the 2021 redistricting.
If it fails, we will be stuck with the same system we have now, and a new system could not go into effect for another decade—in 2031.
Amendment 1 is a compromise, and a compromise is by definition an agreement in which neither party is completely satisfied. In this case, it was a work in progress for over two years, it passed the legislature twice, and is a vast improvement over what we now have.