Groups hold rallies putting focus on state legislative redistricting

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A coalition of groups held simultaneous rallies across the state Friday, calling for the state Supreme Court to move ahead with a fair redistricting process as the future of Wisconsin's legislative maps is in their hands.

"We want fair maps, we want fair representation," Cheryle Maranto said in a speech outside the Milwaukee County Courthouse.

The rally was one of several across the state organized by the Fair Maps Coalition. Speakers highlighted what they say has been the damage done by gerrymandered maps established a decade ago in the state.

"It doesn't matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican or independent, if you're a voter or a non-voter, if you're a citizen or you're not a citizen," Sachin Chheda, chair of the Wisconsin Fair Maps Coalition, said in a speech. "If you live in our community, your voice should count."

The focus for the group is now on the next 10 years and what the state's legislative maps will look like.

On Jan. 19, the state Supreme Court listened to arguments from various groups about how to consider maps to put in place.

In November of 2021, the court ruled it would try to make minimal changes to maps currently in place, something criticized by people who spoke at the rally.

"Because of that decision, none of the maps before the court are fair maps, but some are better than others," Maranto said.

People who spoke at the rally said they hope their voice and message today is heard in order to ensure a fair process.

"We just wanted to send a message to let them know that 'hey, we're watching,'" Iuscely Flores, with the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, said. "The people that put you in power and the people that pay you to work for us are watching and are here to be heard and represented."

The state Supreme Court is expected to rule on the maps by the spring, but the issue could move on to the federal level afterwards.

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