North Carolina Democratic Party Jewish Caucus

Testimony of Matthew Sadinsky before the NC House Redistricting Committee & Senate Redistricting & Elections Committees joint public hearing on Tuesday, September 26th at Appalachian State University

Just because you can do a thing – is it the right thing to do?

My name is Matt Sadinsky, President of the NC Democratic Jewish Caucus. I live, work, and vote in Catawba County.  I am the father of 5 adult children, and a small business owner for over 20 years.  To earn a living, I put Veterans, Graduates, and Professionals to work in cities, utilities and infrastructure, helping pave the transition to Clean Energy. 

I live in Precinct 41 in Catawba County, the 10th Congressional District, NC House #89 and the 45th Senate District. I am old enough to have learned that it is better to ask the right questions than to think I have all the answers. So I ask you again, “Just because you can do a thing – Is it the right thing to do?”

As lawyers. legislators and citizens, you took an oath to do honest work in a framework of a ethics.

Does your ethical duty to ALL your constituents carry the same burden that lawyers have to zealously represent the interests of their clients? …and avoid conflicts of interest?

What are the consequences of your actions? What are your ethical and moral obligations to your constituents – the citizens of the 100 counties & 14 Congressional districts in NC?

I suggest to you that redrawing maps that have already been ruled unfair because you can is serving your own self-interests. Just because you can do a thing: Is it the right thing to do?

Stacked & Packed district maps disfranchise women and minorities who want and need you to speak for them about expanded Medicare, Childcare, Funding for education, schools, teachers and correction officer salaries, responsible gun ownership, and sound energy/climate legislation.

Congressional Delegations ought to represent the populations that elect them. Not carve Districts to press an advantage just because you can.

As you move down this path to gerrymander 7 BLUE and 7 RED Districts to 10 Red to 4 Blue, ask yourself, “what are the Consequences? Whose voices are you silencing? Who loses?”

Just because you can do a thing – Is it the right thing to do?

Honorable sirs and madams – we live in dangerous times. YOU ARE BETTER than this in NC.

You consider yourself honorable and ethical. You are our elected leaders for the whole state.

Governing has deeper and broader responsibilities than just winning at all costs!

One person – One Vote. Is this not the core of our Democracy?

Is this not what you told your parents, partner, and kids you would stand for when in college, law school and first running for office? Fairness, Equity, & Democracy for ALL?

Democracy demands districts be drawn so citizens elect representatives. Not so Representative align districts to make seats for their friends and allies. This is the International Standard of Fair honest elections the UN looks for in developing countries. One Person – One Vote helps guarantee &:

  1. Assures Equality & Fairness;
  2. Assures Democratic Legitimacy;
  3. Protects Minority Rights;
  4. Assures Accountability in Politics;
  5. Encourages Civic Participation;
  6. Prevents Tyranny; and
  7. Supports Social Cohesion reducing disenfranchisement, crime, and hate.

Don’t WE DESERVE Democratic Representation? Don’t you want to GOVERN with Democratic Representation?

As our representatives, you are ethically obligated to avoid actions that create disparate impact, and reduce the voting power of women and minorities.

They have elections in Russia, Turkey, Iran, Hungary, and other authoritative regimes. Is a one-party state designed to win…whatever the consequences…going to serve your constituents & citizens best? Is this where we are heading?

Just because you now enjoy a veto proof majority in the legislature and have a stacked Red State Judiciary, is it ethical? Is it Democratic?

Just because you can do a thing – Is it the right thing to do?

Would we, our children and grandchildren be better served to have a non-partisan citizen review board draw and defend equitable and fair maps like other states?

Also be reminded that SCOTUS just passed on overturning an Alabama appeal leaving in place the Appeals Court ruling to redraw house maps to benefit a 2nd district in which an African American candidate can reasonably win.

Even if you can draw maps & districts so only one party can win – is it the RIGHT THING TO DO?