To the editor:
In his article in the Sept. 26 Alexandria Times, “Residents unite for an open discussion on racism,” Luke Anderson highlights the new city series, “Meaningful Conversations About Racism.” While conversations like the one that took place on Sept. 5 are important for building common understanding, Selena Orona struck a chord, stating, “We want to start putting these conversations into action.”
It’s great to hear Mayor Justin Wilson addressing institutional racism as a policy maker. And with this upcoming legislative session, it’s imperative this sentiment translates into policy statewide. Alexandria is represented by state delegates and senators that can make a constitutionally enshrined difference through the passing of an anti-gerrymandering amendment.
Just last year the courts concluded that the Republican-controlled house was guilty of disenfranchising black voters by manipulating congressional districts. However, senate Democrats approved these maps in 2011 through a backroom “gentleman’s agreement.”
We must stop this form of institutional racism in advance of the once-in-a-decade redistricting that occurs following the 2020 census. We need critical conversations to translate into policy, and Alexandria’s state legislators can start with passing the amendment for fair redistricting reform.
-Daela Taeoalii-Tipton, Alexandria