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Redistricting Board’s Eight Citizen Members Selected

Building facade
Virginia State Capitol Building (Photo: Craig Carper/VPM News)

A panel of retired judges chose eight Virginia citizens on Wednesday to make up the un-elected portion of the commonwealth’s new redistricting committee.

The committee was approved when voters approved an amendment to the state constitution in November, and is tasked with drawing new voting districts. It is made up of 16 people: The eight citizens selected today and eight lawmakers appointed by party leadership.

The panel of judges was headed by Pamela Baskervill, a retired Petersburg circuit court judge. 

Before starting the selection process, she highlighted the state measures that guide their work, saying, “in making our selections, we are to ensure the citizen commissioners are, as a whole, representative of the racial, ethnic, geographic and gender diversity of the commonwealth.”

The retired judges selected from 64 names, whittled down by Democrat and Republican state house leadership from about 1,200 applicants.

They chose four Democrats and four Republicans, with no independents making it onto the panel. Six are men, two are women, and most come from Northern Virginia or Richmond.

According to the Virginia Public Access Project, four self-identified as white, two as Black, one as Asian and one as mixed-race.

Also according to VPAP, each of the chosen members has a yearly income of at least $100,000. Virginia’s median household income from 2015-2019 was a little over $74,000, according to the US Census Bureau.

The redistricting committee is required to meet before February 1, 2021. 2020 Census population data is expected to go out to states before April 1. That’s later than the Commonwealth normally gets the data, due to nationwide delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The full redistricting commission is listed below.

Legislative members:


  • Del. Marcus Simon (D-Falls Church)
  • Del. Delores McQuin (D-Richmond)
  • Del. Leslie Adams (R-Chatham)
  • Del. Margaret Ransone (R-Kinsale)
  • Sen. George Barker (D-Alexandria)
  • Sen. Mamie Locke (D-Hampton)
  • Sen. Ryan McDougle (R-Mechanicsville)
  • Sen. Stephen Newman (R-Forest)

 

Citizen members:


  • James Abrenio - Democrat
  • Brandon Hutchins - Democrat
  • Greta Harris - Democrat
  • Sean Kumar - Democrat
  • Richard Harrell - Republican
  • Marvin Gilliam - Republican
  • Jose Feliciano - Republican
  • Mackenzie Babichenko - Republican

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Patrick Larsen is VPM News' environment and energy reporter, and fill-in host.
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