The University of Mary Washington will host a public forum on the politically charged topic of legislative voting districts on Thursday, March 29, in Monroe Hall, Room 346, on the Fredericksburg campus. The event, which begins at 7 p.m., is free and open to the public.
Brian Cannon, executive director of the redistricting reform group One Virginia 2021, will speak about the role that elected officials have in drawing district lines. A panel discussion will follow, including Patrick Wilson, political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and Craig Carper, news director for WCVE Public Radio in Richmond. Discussion will focus on redistricting reform in the legislature and the courts.
“We are approaching a new redistricting cycle, when you have the census in 2020, we’ll redraw the lines for congressional districts, state senate districts and house of delegate districts, so we are having debates now about how that should be done,” said Stephen Farnsworth, professor of political science and director of the UMW Center for Leadership and Media Studies. Farnsworth, who has conducted research on political gerrymandering, will moderate the panel with Bob Gibson, communications director and senior researcher at the University of Virginia’s Cooper Center for Public Service.
The event also is co-sponsored by the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Cooper Center for Public Service and the League of Women Voters of the Fredericksburg Area. Susan Spears, president and CEO of the Fredericksburg Chamber, will provide opening remarks.