Just Thinking

Plowing New Ground

by Richard Gilman

“Ploughing is not done with a skip and a jump: the ploughman ploughs all day. Dash and flash are all very fine in some things, but not in ploughing: there the work must be steady, persistent, regular . . .”

– The Ploughman, by C.H. Spurgeon

Welcome to the first edition of ThinkingArizona.

We have one goal, simple to state but perhaps not so simple to do. That is to contribute facts, insight and perhaps even understanding to the public dialogue.

Each month we will “publish” an in-depth report on some underlying condition that drives public policy in the state. It could be something about the individuals who make that policy, the resources they have at their disposal, or a different way of framing an issue. In every case, the presentation will be founded in data. It is our intent to be non-partisan, providing insight in a manner that is equally useful to Democrats, Republicans, those of any political stripe.

Unlike the content or the method of presentation that one finds in much of the media, our approach will not be one of flash and dash. Rather our modus operandi, like that of C.H. Spurgeon’s Ploughman, will be to plow, plow some more, in the hope that we all can reap the benefit. The material you will find here took some effort to prepare. Likewise, it will take some effort to absorb. We think though you will be rewarded for your effort.

We begin in this first edition of ThinkingArizona with an examination of legislative districting and its impact on the state.

The upcoming election on November 2 provides a fresh chance for both parties to enhance their voting power in both houses of the Legislature. As this report spells out, those opportunities do exist. At the same time, however, the balance of power is pretty well established once every 10 years when new district boundaries are drawn.

We are at one of those moments when we can look both back and forward. At the end of  the current 10-year cycle, we can evaluate what the last round of redistricting has wrought. As we ready for the start of a new 10-year cycle, we can use those lessons to inform the next round. The selection process is already under way to  find the five individuals who will make up the next Independent Redistricting Commission. We hope this report will add to the public awareness of their importance.


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  1. Susie Burns Cole on said:

    Richard, so happy to see that you’re back sitting on the “right side” of the typewriter; I mean computer. (Gosh we’re old.) You have always been a gifted journalist, and “thinking arizona” is a perfect forum for unbiased news on AZ politics. I look forward to reading, and perhaps writing some articles for “thinking Arizona.” This is a win-win for writers and readers!

  2. Minnette Burges on said:

    Richard, welcome back to Tucson, and thank you for your commitment to the goals of Thinking Arizona. Your work of journalistic “plowing” in lieu of “flash” is important, and a significant contribution to current Arizona policy and politics. Congratulations on this complex endeavor! Minnette Burges

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