Bernadette is running to represent Senate District 12 in the Oregon legislature. In accordance with the Oregon Constitution (Article IV, §2 & 6), the State Senate represents thirty districts whose boundaries are regularly redrawn soon after the United States Census is completed, each district representing approximately 125,000 residents. "Currently, these legislative and congressional districts in Oregon are drawn by legislators and subject to a veto by the Governor"; whereas in most Western sates these districts are drawn by independent citizen commissions (source). If elected, Bernadette will be involved in the next redistricting process, which has important implications for voter representation and making sure rural voices get a fair opportunity at being heard in Salem.
- I strongly support the push for independent redistricting commissions; a healthy democracy is rooted in a system of fairness – one person, one vote. Partisan gerrymandering strips fairness from our democratic institutions because it lets representatives to pick their voters, not the other way around. This is not what our founding fathers intended; therefore, I support initiatives that will protect fair, independent and objective processes.
- Right now, Oregon has a 18.9% "efficiency gap" advantage in favor of the Democratic party (source). In real world terms, that statistic means the Democrats get one more U.S. congressional seat than would be considered proportional to the voting population. As a statistical side effect, this also disproportionally crowds out rural voters. I agree with reformers who aim to get the "efficiency gap" under 7% (source).
- As state senator, I will have a say in the upcoming redistricting process, and I commit to voting for maps that create competitive districts where Republicans, Democrats, and independents/third-party candidates alike have at least a reasonable chance of winning while also respecting geographic commonalities. I would also push for Democratic-dominated Oregon to coordinate such reforms in tandem with a Republican-dominated state of similar population (such as Oklahoma or Kentucky), in order to lead our nation in a political détente, empowering voters at the state level but without disadvantaging either party at the national level.