O-Pinion

Sen. Jeff Jackson takes cartoon form to push redistricting effort

Mecklenburg Sen. Jeff Jackson’s quest to bring independent political redistricting to North Carolina appears to have the proverbial snowball’s chance in hell over at the N.C. legislature, but that’s not stopping him from giving it the old college try.

Jackson’s the digitally savvy Charlotte Democrat who went viral and gained national attention after musing on Facebook about all the progressive (though imaginary) legislation he passed upon getting the legislature to himself during a snow day.

He’s trying to turn the social media spotlight on the redistricting debate. He was urging folks on Twitter to support his bill, co-sponsored with Republican Rep. Charles Jeter of Huntersville, that would set up an impartial nine-person commission to redraw electoral maps after the 2030 census.

His Twitter post pointed readers to a three-minute Vimeo video narrated by a whimsical cartoon version of himself, colorful graphics and bouncy music. The treatment is surprisingly effective in stripping what can be a dense, eat-your-spinach political reform topic down to the bones of why independent redistricting matters to everyday citizens.

You can check it out here:

After repeatedly supporting such commonsense reforms during their decades under Democratic dominance of the legislature, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and other Republican leaders have now decided they like the gerrymandered status quo just fine, thank you very much.

It’ll take more than a cute cartoon to get Berger and power-loving henchmen like Bob Rucho and Tom Apodaca to release their death-grip on the state’s electoral system.

It’ll take lots and lots of voters demanding it. Jackson’s got that covered too, with a link from the video to an online petition citizens can sign.

His effort still has that proverbial snowball’s chance in Raleigh. But darn if this catchy little video doesn’t make it a cute snowball.

If nothing else, here’s hoping schools notice it and use it to help students understand the electoral process a little better.

--Eric Frazier

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