Isle of Wight still too rural to be grouped in new district

Published 10:12 am Friday, January 22, 2016

To the Editor:

Really … Redistrict Isle of Wight’s 36,000-plus residents out of a rather demographically balanced district, the 4th, into a significantly “citified” 3rd? No offense to our fellow Virginians living in Newport News, northern Suffolk, Portsmouth and Norfolk, but commonality of interest and life-style/mode of living just does not exist, period. We in this part of the southside are significantly a rural county, nowhere suburban, let alone urban by any stretch of the imagination.

As a result of the 2010 Census, some adjustments were made to the borders of some Congressional districts by the General Assembly. Understanding this was reviewed by the most discriminating U.S. DoJ under Attorney General [Eric] Holder, where’s the real beef?! Is it really compaction of too many minorities into one district? Were that the case, we in Isle of Wight would be likewise guilty by virtue of compacting our Hardy district w/55 percent minorities!

Bottom line: Prof. [Bernard] Grofman reached across the 4-mile-wide James River, a major geographical feature, and Chuckatuck Creek, not a very narrow largely tidal estuary, and sucked our Isle of Wight into nothing but a “cities-oriented” district wherein the only thing that connects us in reality are bridges. A more WRONG move than has ever been foisted on our Isle of Wight citizens by the federal judiciary in over a 150 years most around these parts would say, I think. But then what’s to be expected out of a Californian?

Look at the wreck their whole state is, economically, etc. The Supreme Court has reserved the right to review this case sometime this spring.

For me, I’ll exercise my 1st Amendment right to communicate my objection to the justices simply because of the lack of commonality for us as far as Isle of Wight is concerned amongst the “new” 3rd’s citizens. I urge my fellow Isle of Wight Countians to do so as well. The 4th is where we have been, and the 4th is where we belong.

Herb De Groft