I assert Maryland is a far more “purple” state than our current political leadership portrays, and that ideological diversity is critical to achieving fair compromises and genuine progress for society. I agree with Kathleen Matthews, MD Democratic Party Chairwoman (Maryland Matters, 6 Jun 17) when she said, “I think ideological diversity is as important in my term as gender and geopolitical diversity.” To realize such diversity requires real change to the mechanisms and levers by which we choose our elected officials, namely re-districting. And yet, as acknowledged in compelled court testimony from former Governor Martin O’Malley (D), the MD Democratic Party deliberately gerrymandered our legislative districts to retain and increase its control over Maryland governance, weakening the ideological diversity of our state and silencing the voices of conservative Marylanders. Governor O’Malley’s testimony was their political “Philip-Morris moment” – the moment they acknowledged publicly what everyone already knew to be true, changing the way we should view the Democratic Party’s brand. Despite full knowledge of what they had done, the Party rejected Governor Hogan’s (R) most recent proposal to create a non-partisan commission to address re-districting, with Senator Zucker leading the effort to force Maryland to follow other states by tying Maryland actions to similar actions in other states – actions they made no effort to pursue. This was simply an abdication of their responsibilities to Maryland voters in order to protect national-level Party interests. Their “but Mom, all the other kids are doing it” proposal was rightly vetoed by Gov Hogan. I firmly oppose gerrymandering, regardless of party at fault, and will work tirelessly here in Maryland with Gov Hogan and all like-minded legislators to bring about real, non-partisan change to the process and balance to our legislative districts for Maryland.