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Democrats holding community hearings on redistricting proposal


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- A former and a present Democratic representative to government are hosting a discussion about redistricting in Marshfield and Wausau Friday.

Former 7th District Congressman David Obey and current 85th Assembly Representative Mandy Wright will lead a panel opposed to the present redistricting process. They argue the current district boundaries create regions of strong support for one party or the other, and most recently, they believe the process shifted the balance of power to the Republicans while costing taxpayers millions of dollars.

Wright is one of many Democrats that believes Wisconsin needs to follow Iowa’s lead, and reassign redistricting authority to the non-partisan Legislative Reference Bureau and a proposed new Redistricting Advisory Commission.

Democrats including Representatives Amy Sue Vruwink, Dana Wachs, Deb Kolste and Evan Goyke will be at the meetings. The Marshfield hearing begins at 9:30 a.m. at the City Hall Plaza in the Council Chambers.  The Wausau Meeting is at 1:30 p.m. at Northcentral Technical College Wausau Campus in the Health Services Auditorium, Room 1004.  

A similar meeting with former Congressman Obey, Representative Katrina Shankland, and representatives of Common Cause was held at UW Stevens Point October 29th.

Democrats have suggested these changes in the Legislature, but there have not been any public hearings, so they are taking the discussion to several communities in an effort to gain public support for their proposal.