PRESS RELEASE: Teller Speaks Out Against Measure to Diminish Indigenous and Latino Electoral Power
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 19, 2020
CHINLE, Arizona – Rep. Arlando Teller, D-Chinle, released the following statement regarding the re-emergence of SCR1018, a resolution for the 2020 ballot sponsored by Republican Sen. J.D. Mesnard, that if passed would diminish the electoral strength of minority communities, especially indigenous communities like the Navajo Nation. The measure would take away latitude from Arizona's Independent Redistricting Commission by only allowing a 5,000-person deviation between legislative districts, a restriction that disproportionally impacts majority-minority districts protected by the Voting Rights Act. House Elections Committee Chairwoman Kelly Townsend cancelled a special meeting to hear SCR1018 today, but the measure could re-appear if the Legislature stays in session.
"If the Arizona House is keeping this session open, divisive bills like SCR1018 – independent redistricting commission; population standards -- will continue to diminish the voice of rural and tribal Arizona," Teller said. "While the Navajo Nation is currently fighting COVID-19 with all her resources, sending a discriminating measure like SCR1018 to the ballot will kick the Navajo Nation while she’s down. This is yet another challenge the Navajo Nation will face at the hands of legislators who do not fully understand or accept small rural towns, rural areas and tribal nations. We need to stand united against SCR1018 and other divisive bills."