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Councilwoman

Ellen F. Robertson

Democrat

 
 
Passion - Experience - Leadership
 

 Build a better city for a better tomorrow

VOLUNTEER

Are you passionate about making a difference and contributing to the greater good of humanity? If so, you're needed.

STAY CONNECTED

Stay looped in. Find important information here,

MEETING REQUEST

If you need a meeting or my assistance, I'm happy to help. 

6th District Buzz

Welcome to RVA 6th! 

 

Welcome to District 6! Home to Richmond's best! Whether you live in Richmond or are just stopping by, take a minute to explore our rich and eclectic district.

Resources for COVID-19

Here are additional resources for those affected by the COVID-19:

  • Local resources can be found at richmondgov.com, including public health information, support for small businesses, and updates on services and closures.

  • Visit publichealth.va.gov of updates, information, and actions taken by Commonwealth of Virginia.

  • Food assistance is available for those who qualify, and Virginians can also find information on meal services for children by texting “food” or “comida” to 877-877.

  • Information and updates for students and parents from RPS can be found at rvaschools.net, including the availability of meals for children.

  • Unemployment information is on the Virginia Employment Commission website at vec.virginia.gov.

  • Advice for managing stress, anxiety, and mental health during the outbreak is available from the CDC at cdc.gov.

  • Small Business Administration loan information for businesses affected by the outbreak. Small businesses in Richmond are all eligible for disaster loans. More information at sba.gov.

  • Loan and debt relief resources for students is available through the Department of Education at ed.gov.

  • Visit the State Department at state.gov for travel guidance, including a Level 4 “Do Not Travel” Global Health Advisory.

Dear Friend,

 

You may be aware that redistricting is going on all around the country, as required after the Census has been completed. Redistricting is the process of drawing the lines of districts from which public officials are elected. When it’s conducted fairly, it accurately reflects population changes and racial diversity, and is used by legislators to equitably allocate representation in Congress and state legislatures.

 

The Constitution and the Federal Courts mandate it.

 

In most states, the state legislature is responsible for drawing district lines. However, in Virginia, we use a special redistricting commission to draw state legislative districts.

 

In the November 2020 elections, Virginias approved Question 1, an amendment to the Virginia Constitution designed to reform how the state redraws congressional and legislative districts. The amendment was the culmination of a major push to reform redistricting in the state after a decade of controversy. The congressional districts adopted by the Virginia General Assembly in 2011 were overturned in 2014 by a Federal Court for packing Black voters into the state’s 3rd District. In 2018, several of the state’s legislative districts were overturned for being unconstitutional racial gerrymanders.

 

As of a few days ago, the bipartisan Virginia Redistricting Commission failed to agree to a congressional map, so the Supreme Court of Virginia now is tasked with drawing the Commonwealth’s new lines. However, per state law, the court must work with redistricting experts. — one nominated by each party — known as “special masters” to draw the lines. On November 4th, Democrats and Republicans in the Virginia state legislature each submitted a list of three experts - of which the Court will pick from. Now, the timeline for selecting is even more delayed because on November 12th, the Court ordered the GOP to name three replacement nominees by November 15th because the three experts the party had submitted had apparent partisans background or potential conflicts of interest.

 

The Court said this was particularly troublesome because the special masters will operate in a quasi-judicial capacity while working with the Court and must be neutral and must not act as advocates or representatives of any political party.

 

While redistricting is always bound to produce controversy, in no state has it proven quite as controversial as Virginia so far during this cycle. Simply put, redistricting determines representation, and representation is very important.

 

Based off of the latest Census information, the 6th District could be impacted. We gained 4,700 residents to become the second most populous district in Richmond with 26,931 residents. Council will decide in the future how we move forward with boundaries.

 

We all need to be involved now, and in the future, in the process. We should stay informed of plans to redraw federal, state, and local district lines; attend meetings where plans are presented and evaluated; contact organizations willing to evaluate proposed plans and offer alternatives; write letters of support or opposition to elected officials and the Department of Justice; and seek needed legal advice. The goal of redistricting is to provide fair and effective representation for all. We can help achieve that goal by actively participating in the redistricting process.

 

Redistricting is one of the most important issues to legislators, with every change in the lines a great favor or piercing slight. As such, it's critical that if and when the maps pass to the Supreme Court, your voice is heard.

 

Redistricting is something we should be talking more about within our communities and families. Redistricting can be a complicated and tedious process, but it is absolutely worth learning about, because the future of our communities will be so impacted by it.

Sincerely,

 

Ellen 


 

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