Irritated by the shape of Maryland's Congressional District 2

Cherry-picking for a safe district

August 31, 2011

Editor:

I live in Belcamp which is in Congressional District 2. I would like to note that the closest Congressional District Office to my home is nine miles away in Bel Air, but that office is for District 1. The second closest Congressional District Office to my home is 26 miles away in Towson, but that office is for District 3. The third closest Congressional District Office to my home is 28 miles away in the city, but that office is for District 7.

Congressman Ruppersberger's District Office in Timonium is a 30 mile drive from my home, farther away than the offices of Congressmen Harris, Sarbanes, and Cummings. To further highlight the absurdity of District 2's shape, the drive from Belcamp to Congressman Ruppersberger's goes through the districts of Congressmen Harris and Sarbanes.

This is all because following the 2000 census, Gov. Parris N. Glendening and our legislature decided to butcher District 2 to make it a safe Democratic seat. After having been held by Republicans for 18 years, this seat became a lock for Congressman Ruppersberger. Don't get me wrong – I'm not upset at the fact that Congressman Ruppersberger wins elections. I am upset because the Redistricting Commission that redrew District 2 10 years ago cherry picked voters in communities as far away as Randallstown and Fort Meade to guarantee that Congressman Ruppersberger would win elections. And to make sure that opposing votes would be neutralized.

Redistricting only takes place once every 10 years, so it is imperative to make your voice heard if you believe in your right to select your representatives.

Michael Perrone

Belcamp

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