RICHMOND, Va. – A spokesperson for the Virginia Senate Republicans has said that Democrats advocating for redistricting reform instead “need a resettlement program. They need to convince their people who live in inner cities to move.”
Jeff Ryer’s quote was published in a June 24 Daily Press article on redistricting.
"I am stunned that Mr. Ryer would so casually throw out the word resettlement. Virginia Republicans surely must be aware of the historical connotations of this word being used this way," said Democratic Party of Virginia Chairwoman Susan Swecker. "It is especially malicious given the Republican Party of Virginia's history of suppressing the voting power of communities of color through photo ID laws, opposition to voter re-enfranchisement, and racially gerrymandered districts. To suggest that the bias in Virginia's legislative districts is accidental ignores decades of systematic disenfranchisement of these communities, and the Democratic Party calls on Mr. Ryer to reconsider and apologize."
The U.S. Supreme Court recently remanded a redistricting case to a lower court to examine Virginia’s gerrymandered districts for signs of racial bias that dilute the impact of black voters.