A coalition of 16 national civil rights organizations released a joint letter last week condemning Missouri’s Amendment 3 as a “deceptive and discriminatory” proposal from politicians that would “weaken protections for communities of color created by Amendment 1 just two years ago.”
The open letter is signed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, Brennan Center for Justice, the Center For Popular Democracy, Color of Change, Common Cause, Demos, End Citizens United / Let America Vote Action Fund, League of Women Voters of the United States, National Council of Jewish Women, re:power, Sierra Club, Stand Up America and State Voices.
“Amendment 3 would weaken protections for communities of color created by Amendment 1 just two years ago” and “undermine redistricting independence and re-open the door to extreme partisan gerrymandering aimed at insulating incumbent politicians from voters,” the letter states.
Amendment 3 is a radical gerrymandering scheme that seeks to gut or eliminate voter-approved reforms, and to replace them with redistricting rules unlike anything Missouri has ever seen, and unlike any other in the United States.
To trick voters into supporting the incumbent-protection proposal, legislators in the Missouri Assembly paired it with a laughable $5 reduction to lobbyist gift limits and a $100 reduction to contribution limits for state senate candidates.
GUTS VOTER APPROVED REFORMS
“Amendment 3 is an attempt by self-interested politicians to gut popular voter-approved nonpartisan redistricting reforms, and then replace them with an unprecedented, discriminatory redistricting system unlike anything Missouri — or America — has ever seen,” the letter states.
“Missourians overwhelmingly support redistricting reform. In 2018, the Clean Missouri Amendment (Amendment 1) passed with 62 percent of the vote, winning in every state Senate district, 149 of 163 statehouse districts, and 80 of Missouri’s 114 counties (plus the City of St. Louis), including a majority of heavily Republican counties,” the letter states.
“It was a landslide, grassroots, bipartisan victory for fair representation. But politicians set out almost immediately to circumvent the will of the people and undo these important reforms by putting Amendment 3 on the November 2020 ballot.”
The St. Louis Labor Council and the Missouri AFL-CIO have recommended a “No” vote on Amendment 3.
More information about Amendment 3 can be found at NOon3Missouri.org.