Gerrymandering

Dear Editor:

For Assembly and Senate district maps, along with U.S. Congressional districts, states must redraw legislative and congressional districts every 10 years to reflect the results of the U.S. Census. In 2011 Republicans controlled the state government and drew maps that benefited them.

Using computer modeling and sophisticated data algorithms, they “pack and crack” voters of the opposing party. Packing means putting as many of the opposing party’s supporters into as few districts as possible, meaning that party wins big in those districts, but it doesn’t win many districts overall. Cracking means scattering the rest of the opposing party’s supporters into districts where they have no chance of winning.

This means districts were drawn in ways that make nearly all of them safe for one of the major political parties.

Additionally low-turnout primaries diminish the influence of moderates and amplify more radical candidates on both sides of the political spectrum. It creates an environment where elected officials aren’t accountable to their constituents.

When more than 80% of our state supports medical marijuana, 80% support universal background checks, 70% support expanding Medicaid, and elected officials ignore those numbers without consequence, something is wrong.

Legislators who work in Madison and make the policies that drive our state should not be able to ignore the people who sent them there.

For more information, visit jeffwidems.org/gerrymandering.

Steve Tesmer

Fort Atkinson

Define community

Dear Editor:

This is personal.

How would you define your own community? What are the connections most important to you? Is it your school district? Where you worship? Where you shop? Where you go for recreation? Parks and natural areas you enjoy? Where you fish? What areas are important for your local economy?

You now have a chance to help the People’s Maps Commission define the areas where you live that share a common interest and would benefit from a collective voice as Wisconsin’s legislative district maps are redrawn in the coming year.

Here is a user-friendly website that will allow you to give written advice, and allow you to draw a map based on your community as you see it. https://portal.wisconsin-mapping.org/

This is important!! If you are as old as I am, you might ask your children or grandkids to help you with this. It is interesting to try and will help in the drawing of district maps that will define your community’s voice for the next 10 years. If I can do this, so can you – join me!!

Lisa Conley

Oconomowoc

Thank you, baseball

fundraiser

Dear Editor:

I want to take a moment to thank the community for their donations to our SnapRaise Fundraiser for the Waterloo High School baseball program. Our fundraiser was a resounding success.

We had an initial dollar amount that we had hoped to reach and ended up going over that amount within 3 days. The donations kept trickling and we had more than doubled our original targeted amount.

The support we received from the greater Waterloo community was more than I could have imagined.

Your generous donations will help us provide a quality program for the current and future players in our program.

Dennis Klubertanz

head varsity baseball coach

Waterloo High School

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