Town Square

Why Do We Even Have Congressional Districts?

Original post made by jrm, Vista Grande Elementary School, on Aug 24, 2010

If Mr. Harmer can run for the opportunity to be my congressional representative even though he doesn't live in my district why in the world do we even have the fictitious "districts" delineated as a result of decades long gerrymandering? Is this crazy or what? I am not an overt Jerry supporter as of yet but this is nuts. I have perhaps missed the outcome, but can someone enlighten me as to the past political effort to have a non political comission establish state and congressional boundaries for political districts. American, can you fill me in? Serious question, I lost track of that issue. Back to Mr. Harmer....if he is so awesome why not run for his own district? Should he win, he would reside at an address at which he is not representing, am I the only one that says whoa.....not here amigo....Hellloooo?


Posted by Alamo Ron
a resident of Alamo
on Aug 24, 2010 at 10:27 pm


Check your US Constitution - there is NO REQUIREMENT for a member of congress to live in the district s/he represents. It would be nice if it was, but it ain't.

Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution sets three qualifications for representatives. Each representative must: (1) be at least twenty-five years old; (2) have been a citizen of the United States for the past seven years; and (3) be (at the time of the election) an INHABITANT OF THE STATE they represent. Members need not live in their districts.

Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Aug 25, 2010 at 8:11 am

jrm is a registered user.

A-Ron....I am fully aware of the legality of such a candidacy, it has been done a number of times recently on both sides of the aisle, that is not the point I am making, for me personally I think it is not right and is a sticking point with me. I can just imagine the initial situation that prompted the law to be changed to allow this. Do you really think at the end of the day this is a good policy?

Posted by Alamo Ron
a resident of Alamo
on Aug 25, 2010 at 10:10 am

I guess I'm not sure what law you are referring to when you say "the law [was] changed to allow this." With regard to the qualifications for representatives, the Constitution has NEVER been changed.

However, it was changed in 1916 to allow for the direct election of SENATORS by the people of each state. Before that the senators were selected by the state legislature.

I agree that a congress-critter should be a resident of the district. That way we could get rid of Garamendi.

Posted by Chet
a resident of Danville
on Aug 26, 2010 at 8:54 am

We who live in District 11 should not consider voting for Harmer. He does not live in our District and should never represent us in Washington DC. We currently have Jerry McNerney as our fine Rep and he really works hard on issues he understands are important to us in the District he lives and understands so well.

Posted by Rick Pshaw
a resident of Danville
on Aug 26, 2010 at 10:48 am

McNee works hard on rubber-stamping every piece of left-wing liberal legislation that Pelosi and Boxer come up with. He is completely out of touch with his constituents and this will become abundantly clear in November.

Posted by Oxymo Ron
a resident of another community
on Aug 26, 2010 at 11:53 am

Dear Dolores,

In celebration of the return of alamorons, as unique oxymora found in Alamo, authored by Alamo Ron, let us focus our senses of humor on the diversity of districts and those that occupy the elected positions.

Shall we?

First, Districts have little in common. CCC District 3, Assembly District 15, and Congressional Districts 10 & 11 wander about in different directions, jogging here and there, and seemingly having few communities that have anything in common.

Second, Districts' elected officials have little in common. State and Congressional districts have officials of quite different fiscal focus and only an in-common sense of humanity. Our District 3 supervisor has proven lack of fiscal conservancy on a personal basis and little relationship to the humanity of our region.

It is hard to imagine the reality that any one home is in three districts but our Iron Horse corridor has four districts and maybe some that I've missed. It is a great question to ask why we have districts but even better to ask why there are few boundaries in common? When Mary, Joan, John and Jerry communicate, do they need a cartographer to determine whose job it is anyway?

OX at [email protected]