Re “Try again” (Your Views, Sept. 23): I read Gayle Johnson’s letter with dismay; she is someone I campaigned for in 2019. Johnson is encouraging people to vote no on Amendment 1. As she states, there was a lot of hard work and effort put into this amendment. Those efforts were led by onevirginia2021.org and included thousands of people from both parties as well as independents.
The amendment was not what she had hoped for. I agree it is not what was originally proposed. It is a compromise. Amendments must be approved by both legislative bodies twice; with an election in between. It is a miracle this amendment got through both houses.
The amendment creates a bipartisan commission of four Democrats, four Republicans and eight citizens. Proceedings are transparent and open to the public. Learn more at onevirginia2021.org and fairmapsva.org.
Johnson is promoting a law, HB 1255/SB 717, passed recently that has great criteria for drawing district lines. Voting yes on Amendment 1 would not overturn this law. In my opinion this law does not replace the amendment but actually enhances the amendment. Amendment 1 provides a structure and HB 1255/SB 717 provides working criteria and objectives. Remember a law can be changed every year by the party in power. An amendment to the Virginia Constitution takes a minimum of 2½ years to pass.
Amendment 1 is not perfect, but let’s not let “perfect” stand in the way of progress. Vote yes for Amendment 1 and be proud.
Richard Hagen, Virginia Beach