District lines reveal self-interest, stupidity

April 19, 2011

It is no wonder people have no respect for politicians when politicians habitually show no respect for them. Beyond question, the best form of redistricting, both in terms of administrative efficiency for congressmen or candidates and in terms of actual representation for citizens with common concerns, would make all eight Maryland congressional districts compact and coherent. For example, there would be a single district comprising Baltimore City and inner ring suburbs.

Instead, Baltimore is chopped up among three districts, all of which are strung out to a ridiculous length across the state. Even the best-intentioned representative cannot move around easily in his district, or become expert on the problems of one part of it without shortchanging other parts with different problems. This is stupid, and it is willful stupidity based on shallow self-interest and indifference to the citizens of Maryland. Every politician who supports that kind of districting earns the contempt of his constituents.

Katharine W. Rylaarsdam, Baltimore

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