by Dave Sakrison
I have spent a considerable part of my life in public service. For 10 years, I sat on the city council of Moab. For 16 years, I had the privilege of serving as Moab’s mayor. I don’t say this to boast, but to point out that I truly believe in the ideal of public service and how our community benefits when public officials focus on what is best for the community.
In November Utah will be voting on Proposition 4. This initiative addresses the practice of gerrymandering, which is when politicians manipulate the redistricting process for their own personal gain. This is a critical issue for us in Moab. As residents of Grand County, we all know our legislative needs are different than those who live in denser populated areas.
As it currently stands, our congressional representative in Washington, D.C. represents East Millcreek, Orem, Provo, and American Fork. Issues in those areas are so different from ours! You might think this was just a random geographic error, but in reality it was likely the result of gerrymandering.
Proposition 4 will stop gerrymandering in Grand County and the rest of Utah. It will do this by creating an independent redistricting commission, together with new rules to govern the process. The commission will be appointed by the governor and state legislative leadership, and will take the first crack at drawing the maps. To promote impartiality, the commissioners can’t have a conflict of interest with the outcome of the process. Meaning, they can’t be lobbyists, candidates for office, party office holders, or political appointees.
The legislature will still have the opportunity to vote on the maps created by the commission, but if the legislature chooses to reject the commission’s maps, it must also follow these common sense rules, and it must publicly defend its maps. This will allow for a more fair and transparent process.
Throughout my life of public service, I have tried to use common sense solutions to complex problems.
All of Utah, especially rural Utah, is best served by Proposition 4. I firmly believe the public should be allowed to choose their elected leaders, not the other way around. But that won’t happen unless we end gerrymandering in Utah. For that reason, I’m asking you to vote “YES” on Proposition 4.
Read more: Moab Times-Independent – My View Vote yes on Prop 4