Nevada Stonewall, redistricting — By Nevada Stonewall Democrats on October 21, 2011 6:05 am
With redistricting, Nevada's LGBT community has an opportunity to rid itself of anti-equality Republicans
Nevada Republicans were wishing and hoping and praying that when Brian Sandoval vetoed the redistricting proposals passed by the Legislature this spring that they could find a friendly judge who would give them the gerrymandered bliss they couldn’t get out of the process laid out in our state’s Constitution. And ultimately, it seemed like that’s what they got in Judge Russell’s court… Until he convened a panel of special masters to redraw the lines, and the special masters came back with clearly un-gerrymandered districts.
One clear result that comes out of this process, should the Nevada Supreme Court uphold these new maps, is that we have a chance to secure a real pro-equality majority in the Legislature. Right now, Democrats have a narrow 11-10 advantage in the State Senate, and 2 of the Democrats currently in the Senate have mixed records at best on LGBTQ equality. Under this map, we have a chance to reelect 2 solid pro-equality Democrats facing potentially tough races next year while also defeating an anti-equality Republican who’s now in a much more Democratic district!
So let’s start with the good news. Henderson Democrat Shirley Breeden and Las Vegas Democrat Allison Copening have always stood with our community when we needed them, including overriding then Governor Gibbons’ veto of SB 283
(comprehensive domestic partnerships) in 2009 and passing AB 211
(transgender inclusive workplace non-discrimination) this year. Now it’s our turn to stand with them in the upcoming election. And while this will still include plenty of sweat equity, we can at least take comfort in Breeden’s (SD 5) and Copening’s (SD 6) respective districts changing for the better in gaining more Democratic voters. These districts are most assuredly winnable for us, so we should definitely go out and prove that strong pro-equality Democrats can win throughout Southern Nevada!
Now here’s the better news. In Reno, we will have a chance to replace an anti-equality Republican with a pro-equality Democrat. Greg Brower voted against most LGBTQ equality bills this session, including AB 211. Unfortunately for his constituents, Brower has been too busy attempting a Congressional campaign and pandering to “tea party” extremists to even try to reach out to his constituents. However, Brower is now in a district (SD 15) that’s nearly evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, and a district that both President Obama and Senator Harry Reid handily carried! This is a district that we can most definitely win, so in the coming months we will be working hard in Washoe County to turn this previously Red district Blue and elect a Senator who values all Northern Nevada families.
So in the next election, we at Stonewall will have the exciting opportunity to help expand the Democratic majority in the Nevada Senate while also securing a real pro-equality majority. We know this is possible, so let’s make it happen!
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