By SENATOR GINA WALSH
From defeating “right-to-work” to increasing the minimum wage, hardworking Missourians from across the state have come together the last few years to make sure our voices are heard at the state Capitol.
And we have had tremendous success advocating for improved policies that have a direct impact on our families and communities. This November, all that is threatened by Amendment 3, which attempts to silence our voices and diminish our representation in Jefferson City.
UNDERMINES THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE
One of the most unfair parts of Amendment 3 is that it undermines the will of the people.
Just two years ago, voters in every corner of the state outlawed gerrymandering in the last election. Now, the politicians are trying to undo the fair map rules that passed in every state senate district with plenty of bipartisan support.
Of course, the politicians behind Amendment 3 aren’t being honest about what their plan really does. They don’t want voters to know it’s all about protecting their own power, so they’ve added a couple of shiny objects hoping that will be enough to distract us from the truth. They’re hoping a mere $5 change to lobbyist gift rules and a $100 change to some state senate contributions will be enough to trick us into voting for their map-rigging plan.
ALLOWS EXTREME GERRYMANDERING
We’ve worked too hard to be fooled by lobbyists and politicians trying to undermine our strength at the polls. In fact, we know that Amendment 3 is backed by the same interest groups and politicians who tried to force so-called “right-to-work’ into our state constitution. And just like in that fight, the nation is watching.
Amendment 3 allows the most extreme gerrymandering in the country. Experts haven’t seen anything like it in 40 years, since Mississippi in 1979.
It would also make Missouri the first state in our nation’s history to not count all people as part of the population for district maps, including children under 18. This would essentially take representation away from 1.5 million residents and render them invisible in Jefferson City. When the population is undercounted like this, entire communities get shortchanged. Local leaders including mayors, city council members and school district administrators are already warning about “significant” revenue losses for our communities if Amendment 3 passes.
NATIONAL OPERATIVES ARE WATCHING
There are powerful national groups and operatives watching what happens here in Missouri, waiting to see if the politicians’ scheme works so they can take similar action in other states.
For those of us who have been fighting the long national assault on working families, this playbook is all too familiar – and we know how critical it is to cut this dangerous proposal off at its knees before it takes hold and spreads across the country.
This November, we must send a strong message to the politicians and special interests here in Missouri and across the country who are behind Amendment 3. We must vote NO and call them out on their deceptive plan to trick us into allowing them to rig maps for decades to come.
Enough is enough.