My remarks to the Virginia House of Delegates Constitutional Sub-committee in favor of redistricting reform (as prepared)

Thank you for the chance to speak.

I’m Sam Davies, a Richmonder, and volunteer with OneVirginia2021. I’m in favor of redistricting reform.

Gerrymandering isn’t the issue that I care about most, but it’s the issue I have to care about first. Whether you’re from the right or the left, you need to know that your concerns are heard by representatives who are as accountable to the People as possible.

I have two daughters, one 6 and one about to turn 10, and if anything they have a fundamental understanding of “fair”. When we talked over dinner last night about what I would be talking about today, I asked them what they’d think if they were about to play a game with someone and that other person got to change the rules before they started. They immediately recognized this as a grave injustice.

There’s another thing my daughters understand intuitively. If I walk into a room and catch them doing something they know is wrong, their dad won’t accept an excuse of “she did it first!” or “she’s doing it too!”. That’s what I see both Republicans and Democrats doing to excuse their behavior: “Well they do it too!”

We have a word for when those in power use that power to help themselves stay in power: that’s tyranny. And we know what Virginians do to tyrants.