The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce NEEDS YOUR HELP advocating for a NEW redistricting map
November 19, 2021
The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce NEEDS YOUR HELP advocating for a NEW redistricting map that does not mute our voice or harm North Bethesda
Use our prewritten letter to email members of the County Council (see below)
The County Council is considering a new Council district map that will have long term, negative implications for North Bethesda. Now is the time to send an email to Council President Tom Hucker and members of the County Council to express your concern.
The redistricting commission has submitted to the Council its recommended map for seven new council districts, and it is not good for North Bethesda (read more on the blog). Simply put, one of the new gerrymandered districts combines North Bethesda with Silver Spring and Takoma Park, which minimizes our voice in local politics, pulls North Bethesda away from our neighbors and community, and prevents our needs from being met. Once approved, we will have to live with this disenfranchisement for at least the next 10 years and perhaps beyond that.
The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce is advocating for a new redistricting map that does not harm North Bethesda, and we need YOUR help.
Please take a moment to email the County Council and let them know that this proposed map disenfranchises North Bethesda residents and businesses. In order to make an impact, the Council needs to hear from as many of our members as possible, and as soon as possible.
To send an email:
1) Please send an email to the entire below list.
2) Copy and paste the below letter into the body of your email. Feel free to make changes to personalize your email.
3) Remember to include your name, company or organization name (if applicable), and your address in the email.
4) Remember to put something in the subject line such as "Redistricting disenfranchises North Bethesda"
That’s it- it’s that easy to advocate for your community!
I am reaching out today to express my deep concern over the redistricting commission’s proposed map, which marginalizes North Bethesda.
While our community has often seen the “claim to North Bethesda” as a tug of war between Rockville and Bethesda, we can all agree that Silver Spring has never made such a claim. I urge you to consider either a new map or adjustments to the proposed map that addresses the concerns of myself and the members of the various organizations noted below.
Following are detailed points addressing why this proposed map disenfranchises North Bethesda residents and businesses and greatly increases the risk that our needs will be ignored:
· North Bethesda should be in a district with others on the 355 corridor. Whether that is Rockville or Bethesda is for the Council to decide.
· The Silver Spring/Takoma Park side of the bow tie has 100,000 residents while North Bethesda includes 50,000. Our voice will be muted and residents disenfranchised. The district is already referred to as the Silver Spring District, marginalizing North Bethesda.
· A major and growing economic driver for Montgomery County, North Bethesda should be more than an afterthought or sacrificial lamb whose placement was determined because it makes the rest of the map work.
· Why were Rockville and Gaithersburg’s desires to dictate their own boundaries given precedence over all others?
· The bow tie district is neither compact nor composed of adjoining territory as required by law. It is a gerrymandered district that does not preserve communities of interest as required by the commission’s ground rules.
· The process has been rushed due to delayed demographic information provided to the commission and without sufficient public input. Expediency should not take precedence over accuracy. Redistricting is too important not to do it right.
The process of redistricting is a difficult balancing act that requires juggling a myriad of conflicting interests. However, many individuals and organizations including Friends of White Flint, Luxmanor Civic Association, the Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce, the Rockville Chamber of Commerce, and the White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee among others, believe the proposed gerrymandered district minimizes our voice in local politics, pulls North Bethesda away from our neighbors and community, and prevents our needs from being met.
Please consider a new map or adjustments to the proposed map to address these concerns.
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