Redistricting and what it means for Tennessee

·2 min read
John Ragan
John Ragan

Every 10 years, a census is taken to reflect our changing population. Subsequently, a unique state-led process known as redistricting occurs. The process is unique because the U.S. Constitution awards us the power over our own redistricting as a state. This is how it should be, since we here at home know our districts better than those in Washington, D.C.

The 2020 ensus results are peculiar because of the pandemic. In addition, Tennessee’s population is constantly growing and growing rapidly. These and other factors have had a major impact. Fortunately, the redistricting process is one I believe we do extremely well here in Tennessee.

With the Republican super majority taking hold in 2012, we have since seen budget surpluses, improved infrastructure, and some of the lowest taxes in the nation. In addition, we have an undying commitment to our education system that previously fell stagnant.

We have become one of the most business-friendly states in the country, as recognized by the numerous national and international companies moving here. Amazon, Ford, 3M, Mitsubishi, Google, Facebook, Beretta and Smith & Wesson are just a few of those who are bringing thousands of high-paying jobs to rural areas. Our economy is booming, so it is not surprising that people are seeing how amazing our great state is and moving here to a part of it.

Anderson County is ranked as the 51st most rural of 95 districts, and my first priority as your state representative. Protecting your best interests is important to me. I represent you first and will continue to make decisions our values and our economy.

When the lines have been redrawn, House District 33 will see only some changes on the north side on a congressional level. The new lines will not affect Anderson County negatively. I am optimistic that this change will mean more representation of our local interests.

Though some believe redistricting to be fraught with partisanship, we are creating maps that accurately reflect our growing population.

Despite what is happening in Washington, D.C., we at the Tennessee General Assembly are putting the wellbeing of the state above politics. We have worked well together in a bipartisan manner to draw the lines of redistricting in a way that is fair and equitable and have invested much time and effort into ensuring that every district is properly represented.

I am proud of how smoothly we have conducted this process here in the Volunteer State.

As always, my office is always open to those who wish to comment or express concerns about the updated maps.

Representative John Ragan R-Oak Ridge is Chairman of the Government Operations Committee and serves on various other committees. He has served Anderson County as a state representative since 2010.

This article originally appeared on Oakridger: Redistricting and what it means for Tennessee