The Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission, a shadow panel formed to advise and potentially propose alternatives to this year’s redistricting process in the Indiana General Assembly, has announced a group of nine Hoosiers who will be its members.
The commission plans a series of virtual meetings in February and early March, organized by congressional district, to discuss issues such as the criteria should drive the redistricting process and to identify “communities of interests” that could form the basis for drawing congressional and legislative district lines.
“Almost three hundred Hoosiers applied for a seat on the ICRC so it wasn’t easy narrowing the group down to nine,” said Julia Vaughn, policy director for Common Cause Indiana and a leader of the All IN for Democracy coalition formed to promote an independent redistricting process.
“The individuals we chose bring different skill sets to the table but all are leaders in their communities and committed to a redistricting process that is transparent, open to public participation and results in districts that prioritize the interests of voters, not politicians.”
“We are excited to get this process started and will announce the dates and times for our virtual public hearings early next month. I encourage everyone who wants redistricting that will allow voters to choose their politicians, instead of allowing politicians to choose their voters by manipulating district lines, to participate in these public discussions, and the public mapping project that will follow later this spring.”
To promote “multipartisanship,” the commission set out to choose nine members along the following political lines — “three Republicans, three Democrats and three people who are neither Republican nor Democrat.”
The members, announced in a Jan. 28 news release, are:
- Clara Glaspie of Indianapolis, described as a longtime Republican activist who was the first Black woman to participate in the Richard G. Lugar Excellence for Women Leadership series
- Leigh Morris, former Republican mayor of LaPorte.
- Marilyn Moran-Townsend , Republican of Fort Wayne, the CEO of CVC Communication and a co-founder of AVOW, Advancing Voices of Women.
- Missie Summers-Kempf of Portage, a Democrat who is involved in racial justice and environmental issues in Northwest Indiana.
- Xavier Ramirez, Democrat of Carmel, a student at Indiana University who works with the Civic Leader Learning Center as a student advisory board member.
- Ranjan Rohatgi, Democrat of South Bend, assistant professor of mathematics and compuer science at Saint Mary’s College where he developed a class called “Mathematics of Voting.”
- Christopher Brandon Harris of Hammond, an independent member who is a project manager for a commercial construction general contractor and participant in the Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation.
- Sonia Leerkamp of Ninevah, former Hamilton County prosecutor who was elected as a Republican but is serving on the commission as an independent member.
- Charles Taylor of Muncie, professor of political science at Ball State University serving as an independent member.