As one door closes, another opens
As the famous rocker Tom Petty sings, “the waiting is the hardest part.” Since the redistricting maps passed the Legislature last summer and lawsuits immediately sent the maps to federal court for deliberation, I could not find this line to be more true.
When the redistricting maps came out last spring, I was disappointed to see the 80th Assembly District chopped up into three different districts. Evansville, Albany and Brodhead were placed in the 45th Assembly District; Belleville, New Glarus and Monticello were placed in the 80th District, and Monroe was placed in the 51st District. Green County in particular has rarely been divided between various districts and has normally been represented by one senator and one state representative.
However, that being said, I was excited to see that I would be representing more of Rock County, a place I’ve called home my entire life.
After a speedy vote and a great deal of controversy, the maps were off to federal court, where the only thing we could be certain of was there would be one of three outcomes. One, the map stays the same. Two, the entire map is thrown out and redrawn. Or three, a little bit of both—part of the map stays the same and part of it is redrawn.
For months lawyers from both sides presented arguments and motions to the three-judge panel that would decide the fate of these maps.
Ultimately, despite the court’s frustration and disappointment in the manner in how these maps were drawn and passed—the only changes the court ordered were for two Assembly districts in Milwaukee. Otherwise, everything else would take effect.
Through the years, I have crisscrossed the 80th Assembly District time and time again, getting the wonderful opportunity to meet so many of you. From participating in Cheese Days to studying up on my Swiss trivia in New Glarus to proudly serving my lifelong hometown in the Legislature—I have truly enjoyed my time as your state representative. If I currently am your representative, I will remain so until January 2013.
Now I look forward to starting a new chapter in the 45th District, where I will be seeking election this fall. I also look forward to getting to know the people of Orfordville, Beloit and the many townships in between. I have already been to several events in the new district, and I am humbled by the open arms and warm welcome I’ve received. I will continue to represent part of the current 80th Assembly District, including Evansville, Albany and Brodhead, and am excited to continue building relationships in those communities.
Because we only go through redistricting every 10 years, like so many of you, I find it to be a confusing and highly technical process. If you have any questions about the maps or how redistricting affects you, please feel free to contact my office and we will help you as best as we can.
State Rep. Janis Ringhand, D-Evansville, can be reached toll-free at 1-888-534-0080, Rep.Ringhand@legis.wi.gov or at P.O. Box 8952, Madison, WI 53708.