Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Missouri Legislature recently overrode Gov. Jay Nixon's veto to enact a new redistricted congressional map.

In the Senate the vote was 28-6, and the House vote -- which must have a two-thirds majority to override a governor's veto -- passed the plan with 109 representatives voting in the affirmative, including four House Democrats.

The primary issue at stake during this process was where Missouri would lose a congressional seat. In the end, it was decided that the entire city of St. Louis would be under the 1st Congressional District. The 1st is currently represented by Democrat William Lacy Clay.

While some, including Gov. Nixon, believe the map is not a fair representation of the interests of all parts of the state, we believe the legislature acted appropriately in putting the entire city of St. Louis under one congressional district.

The 2010 census revealed that the city of St. Louis had an 8.3 percent population drop, accounting for more than 29,000 individuals. In comparison, the state's largest city, Kansas City, saw a 4.1 percent population increase. Several of the state's other larger cities saw double-digit percentage population increases.

Some may argue that having a congressional map that the governor vetoed is flawed. And while it would certainly be nice to have all parties concerned agree to a plan, it was entirely appropriate for Missouri legislators to go forward with their proposal.

The legislature makes up of the most basic levels of representation. And having a plan, even with a veto from the governor, go forward is far better than having unelected judges decide a map of representation.

It is frustrating that the state lost a member in Congress. But at the same time, this can be a wake-up call for the state, city leaders and individuals communities to find ways to boost the economic climate, bringing more jobs and subsequently more people to the state.

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