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Redistricting Commission Hears From N. Va. Residents

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The commission visited Northern Virginia on Tuesday night. The gathering on the campus of George Mason University is one of 10 public hearings to be held across the Commonwealth.

Residents who showed up got a chance to weigh in on what factors should matter the most when redrawing the state's political lines.

Issues such as minority populations, and political competitiveness have long been part of the equation.

But political blogger and Northern Virginia resident Ben Tribbett says it's time political districts started reflecting the age of residents as well.

"I wouldn't mind having a district of 30- and 70-year-olds, if they behaved the same," Tribbett says, "but the reality is that 70-year-olds don't do the same things in their day to day lives that 30-year-olds do."

For Jaime Areizaga-Soto of the Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia, the biggest issue will be keeping districts with large Hispanic populations intact, so that Latinos have a shot at more representation in Richmond.

"We don't have a member in the Virginia General Assembly, even though we're 8 percent of the Commonwealth," he says. "One out of every 12 Virginians is Latino today."

The commission delivers its final report on April 1. Lawmakers start their redistricting session on April 4.

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