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Legislative redistricting maps receive backlash from some Utahns

redistricting.utah.gov

The Legislative Redistricting Committee held a public hearing on Monday. The committee presented their maps for congressional, state senate, state house and state school board districts and received public feedback on each map.

Some Utahn’s like Utah Republican Party chairman Carson Jorgensen applauded the committee.

 

“We are one Utah, and this map represents rural as well as urban and we are thankful for the things you guys have put forward and all the work you’ve done,” Jorgensen said.

 

But others like Katie Wright, executive director of Better Boundaries, held their applause.

 

“Instead of thinking about creating districts where voters have an opportunity to hold their elected officials accountable,” Wright said. “They created districts where elected officials are protected and insulated from accountability.”

 

Wright, along with the majority of those who commented, favored the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission’s maps.

 

“It was just really great to see that a group of people could put politics aside and instead center on communities and what voters asked for,” Wright said.

 

The committee voted to approve all of their maps, instead of the UIRC’s, despite numerous comments asking the committee to do otherwise throughout the night.

 

“I believe that It’s important that we recognize that the redistricting commission was put there by the citizens of Utah,” a Salt Lake City man said. “We voted on it and we voted on it several times, and we asked you guys to listen to the redistricting commissions recommendations and you didn’t.”

 

The committee’s maps were cleared by both the Utah House and Senate and now await approval by Gov. Cox.

 

Emma Feuz is a senior at Utah State University majoring in broadcast journalism with minors in sociology and political science. She grew up in Evanston, Wyoming where, just like Utah State, the sagebrush also grows. Emma found her love of writing at an early age and slowly discovered her interest in all things audio and visual throughout her years in school. She is excited to put those passions to use at UPR. When school isn't taking up her time, Emma loves longboarding, cheering on the Denver Broncos, and cleaning the sink at Angies.