Join us for our April 20th meeting. The South Carolina Democratic Party will be electing new officers. The candidates for SCDP Chair, 1st Vice Chair, 2nd Vice Chair & 3rd Vice Chair will be our guests. They will give us their vision of the direction for the Democratic Party in South Carolina. For more details, go to the Events page.
This was the statement by Michael Wilson, Alternate Executive Committeeman of the Aiken County Democratic Party to the Aiken County Legislative Delegation on Monday evening.
My name is Michael Wilson; I reside in SC Senate District 24 and SC House District 86. I want to say a few words about Senate Bill S 341, which proposes that an independent panel control political boundaries and ends the practice of gerrymandering in this state.
This is one of the most important issues facing our democracy today. The practice of politicians choosing their constituents is entirely undemocratic and un-American. Giving elected officials the ability to choose their voters and create safe districts, allows them to ignore entire groups of people, to cater to and represent their “safe” majority; because Gerrymandering is not just about retaining power, it’s about suppressing the voice of people you don’t agree with.
What can be less American than that? What can be less democratic than our elected representatives choosing who they can ignore and to whom they don’t have to be accountable? Our elected officials do not only represent those that voted for them. They represent every single person in their districts and state regardless of party affiliation, political ideals, race, gender, orientation or ethnicity and their service while holding their seats needs to reflect that.
A safe seat removes the incentive for a politician to interact with, listen to and consider while legislating the wants, desires, needs and requirements of entire groups of their own constituents. And that is unacceptable in a democracy.
“Compromise” seems to have become a bad word in politics these days. Our Constitution is often referred to as the “Great Compromise”. Our forefathers were people with different histories, motivations and goals, all coming together to work on a document of democracy and freedom. We live in a time where the political discourse has become so adversarial that we demonize people that disagree with us instead of trying to find common ground and work out differences.
Gerrymandering, separating the people of this state based off of ideology or race or economic status is a major cause of this increasing divide and it needs to stop. It forces people and activists to fight their own representatives instead of coming together to hold constructive discussions and conversations about ideas and policies. This is a great state filled with diverse people and backgrounds and ideas and its people deserve to have that diversity reflected in our elected bodies.
A recent survey of South Carolinians shows that a strong and solid majority of us want the drawing of district lines taken out of the hands of our elected representatives. Anyone who doesn’t vote in favor of relinquishing that responsibility to an independent body will show what is important to them, and in that instant it will not be the people they claim to represent. We, the people, are asking, we are imploring, we, the people, demand that this un-democratic process, which flies is the face of what we stand for as Americans ends immediately.
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Aiken County Democratic Party meets at 7pm on the 3rd Thursday of every month at Odell Weeks Recreation Center Room One.