Swamp Stories Episode 5: A Gerrymandering Tale You Haven’t Heard

“Politicians shouldn’t pick their voters. Voters should pick their politicians.”

No reform issue has gained more momentum across the country in recent years than banning partisan gerrymandering. It’s united Republicans, Democrats, and independents at the state and local level who want better representation and more say in how district lines are drawn.

But it’s also brought the fight over political power and who determines which seats are safe or competitive – so often hidden behind closed doors or discussed in academic papers – into public view.

The latest episode of Issue One’s podcast Swamp Stories tells a forgotten tale of gerrymandering from a Republican in Pennsylvania who was targeted by it in the 1990s — then-Rep. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and also advocates solutions.

Listeners will hear the story of Katie Fahey, who built a movement to ban partisan gerrymandering in Michigan at 26-years old with a simple Facebook post. After $16 million and more than 425,000 signatures, proposal 2 in Michigan passed and created an independent redistricting commission. (Fahey serves on Issue One’s Board and the organization recently signed onto an amicus brief supporting the commission.) They will also meet Josh Silver, co-founder of Represent.Us, one of the largest grassroots groups bringing independents, progressives, and conservatives together to pass anti-corruption laws in states. (Silver hosts the annual “Unrig the System” summit – the largest gathering of political reformers in the country – and serves on Issue One’s Advisory Board.) 

Learn more in today’s episode, “A Gerrymandering Tale You Haven’t Heard.”