CREATING SMALL REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICTS
As explained previously in regard to Article the First, as the size of House districts have grown in size, the people have lost control of the selection process and very seldom are their representatives actually accountable to the constituency instead of special interests who fund their campaigns and keep them in office.
In today’s world, the possibility of passing an apportionment amendment limiting the size of a House District is effectively zero. So, what can we do?
A couple weeks ago an idea came to me on how a single House district could implement a plan to restore it to one where the people (not special interests and big money) would be able to select and elect representatives—should the people decide to do so.
The purpose is to restore self-government to a specific House District that elects to do so and actively combat many of the corrupting influences of the current system. From my take on the Constitution, this could be done in one or more House districts without needing an Amendment to the Constitution or for Congressional approval.
Below are some thoughts on how to create small districts, where the local public could select people of known character to represent them. Any comments or feedback will be very much appreciated:
A DRAFT PROPOSAL FOR CREATING SMALL DISTRICTS AND REPRESENTATIVES WHERE WE THE PEOPLE ARE IN CHARGE
The idea is that a House district (currently averaging around 750,000 population) could be broken down into smaller districts, each about 50,000 population, and those districts (about 15) could hold town hall type meetings (also live on the internet to local residents) to discuss issues, and through a process end up selecting some people they want to represent them, and then hold an election.
And then, from the 15 individuals selected, through a process (lots of ways it could be done), select one of the 15 to actually go to D.C.—but also be accountable to the other 14 staying at home and also, via methods, keep the citizens in the loop. As I said, a rough idea, but it could be implemented, especially in one of the smaller states where they have only one or two Representatives. If it worked out, it could provide a pattern for the rest of the states and House districts.
As a preparation and hopeful way of defeating the corrupt practice of Gerrymandering, a computer program should be developed, using census information on population locations and local boundaries to generate districts of roughly equal population, and free from political influence.
Some proposed ground rules:
1) The goal is not for candidates to promote themselves, but to articulate the issues and philosophy of government they support.
2) Candidates to agree not to accept any funding for their campaign—and no advertisements in media, use of social media or email.
3) The forum for candidates to promote their agendas would be via public meetings, debates, Q&A, etc. open to the general public and televised via the internet and available for post event viewing and download.
4) Of those elected for each sub-district, one will be chosen (by lottery or other agreed method) to go to D.C. as the Representative for the entire district
5) All Representatives will agree to only meet or discuss issues with Lobbyists in a pre-announced public forum. Constituencies of each district to be able to be involved in the discussion of merits of the lobbyist’s proposals.
6) Funding to be provided for a local agent, who lives in the home district of the Representative going to D.C., will be provided to fulfill the local responsibility to interact with the electorate in the home sub-district.
7) Information regarding legislation pending is to be posted on a district website, where constituents can express opinions as well as participate in poling regarding their support of the matter.
* * *
One must keep in mind that it is only the rarest of elected officials who would be willing to relinquish their power for the common good. The purpose of small districts is to give the power of selection and holding their representatives accountable back to the people.
The question is: Do the people care enough to do that?