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Gerrymandering Affects State Infrastructure


July 22, 2021

Dear Editor,

Gerrymandering affects our state infrastructure, which includes roads, drinking water, stormwater, bridges, power utilities, and broadband. Infrastructure doesn’t stop at political boundaries established by gerrymandering. Because gerrymandered boundaries were drawn to have those districts favor staying in control of one political party, that party gets to determine what parts of our infrastructure get repaired, expanded or upgraded and if and how those projects are funded.

Wisconsin’s gas tax revenue which goes toward repairing roads has remained at 30.9 cents/gallon since 2006. There is less revenue from gas tax because local tax revenues that counties and municipalities use to maintain roads are falling and there is decreased state aid to local governments, both due to state legislation.

Our gerrymandered legislature is not interested in repairing our roads because they aren’t concerned about being voted out if they enact unpopular laws or decisions. The maps are such that the legislators have no fear of being removed from their seats if they don’t work with the other party. When you drive on a bumpy road or hit a pothole, hear about PFAS in our water systems, or when your internet connection is slow or poor, you can thank gerrymandering.

Melissa Ratcliff,

Cottage Grove, WI


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