On February 14, 2019, a Federal Court Panel Ordered new House of Districts for 26 districts in Virginia. The 79th district was one of the most changed in the entire state. The Supreme Court of the United States finalized these maps and they were used in the 2019 November General Elections. Here is the new 79th District Map:
The new district includes the Western Branch area of Chesapeake, including all of the following Precincts: Taylor Road, Pughsville, Silverwood, Churchland, Fellowship, and Bailey Creek. In Portsmouth, the district includes all of precinct 39 (Churchland Primary & Intermediate), Precinct 38 (Grove Baptist), precinct 34 (Churchland Library), precinct 25 (John Tyler), and a little portion of precinct 35 (Churchland Elementary), which includes only the neighborhoods of Pinehurst and Wise Beach. In Norfolk, the district includes the entire precinct of Titustown and then 4 split precincts- Second Presbyterian, Granby Elementary, Willard, and little portion of Lafayette Winona precinct (Lakewood Academy for Discovery). Norfolk neighborhoods in the district include Riverfront, Algonquin, Glenwood Park, Talbot Park, North Meadow Brook, Norfolk Crossing, Riverpoint, East and West Belvedere, Roland Park, and Lakewood.
Looking at this map, anyone can see how extremely Gerrymandered this district is. The districts are supposed to be compact so communities are not split up. However, the Court, just like the General Assembly failed to live up to its own standards. This is just another example of why Delegate Heretick has been such a tireless leader for non-partisan independent redistricting reform so we can finally end Gerrymandering. Steve stood up to the partisan political forces and voted to allow the citizens of Virginia to decide on creating non-partisan redistricting commission to draw future districts. On November 3, 2020, citizens voted overwhelmingly to create a bi-partisan redistricting commission with citizen members. I hope as this process moves forward we can turn a new page in the history of the Commonwealth.