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Letter: North Dakota Voters First works with people across the political spectrum

We want all North Dakotans to know they have the power to engage in the redistricting process. We encourage everyone reading this, including Rob Port, to contact the Redistricting Committee if they have input they’d like to share.

Letter to the editor FSA
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Thank you to Rob Port for recognizing the hard work of North Dakota Voters First . We’re leading the charge to ensure fair legislative maps for all North Dakotans this redistricting cycle. Our organization has been putting in a lot of extra hours lately to let citizens know about the 2021 legislative redistricting process in North Dakota.

We’re pushing to make sure that this process is fair and transparent. Fair representation means so much more than what party you are from. Communities of interest in North Dakota should have legislators who’ll listen to their needs along with other needs from across the state. Agriculture, education, energy and health care are very good examples of that. These issues rise above partisan politics.

Our organization has discussions with people across the political spectrum. The director of North Dakota Voters First has a large network in the business community and talks to advisors of all political views. He also worked in media sales for Forum Communications for four years prior to serving as our director.

The League of Women Voters of North Dakota has been advocating for districting reform in this state for over a decade. The national League of Women Voters has established the “People Powered Fair Maps Initiative,” which is working toward establishing independent redistricting commissions in all 50 states.

We want all North Dakotans to know they have the power to engage in the redistricting process. We encourage everyone reading this, including Port, to contact the Redistricting Committee if they have input they’d like to share.

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Port seems to be very concerned about which groups have provided backing to North Dakota organizations that promote democracy reforms and transparency in government. Most of us in North Dakota Voters First are unpaid volunteers, and our funders do not receive any financial benefit when we are successful in our efforts.

On the other hand, Port used to write articles for the Koch brothers-funded astroturf group called the “Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.” The Koch brothers and their corporate affiliates benefit financially from legislative actions that Port promoted.

Yes, North Dakota Voters First is a small, grassroots group. However, we do have a lot of supporters across the state who are interested in fair legislative maps during the 2021 redistricting process. Thanks again for recognizing our outreach and hard work.

Carol Sawicki is the chair of North Dakota Voters First.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

Related Topics: NORTH DAKOTA
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