By Ed Martin, The Leader Editor

I think the country is ready for a 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which if I was charged with writing would read something like the following: No state, following the 10-year national census, may create congressional districts that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries to create partisan advantaged districts (Wikipedia).

Following the national census, beginning in 2020, each state shall create a citizens commission, charged, with creating districts that fairly represent the true desires and characteristics of the population.

Such an amendment, the first since 1992 when the states finally ratified the 27th amendment - regarding compensation for members of Congress - is sorely needed. Sometimes it takes a few years for amendments to get ratified.

The 27th Amendment was initially proposed by the first Congress in 1789.

The 28th Amendment, as humbly proposed by me, would effectively end the nefarious art of gerrymandering, a long established practice that has effectively stifled the ability of Congress to do what it was supposed to do - serve the people.

Currently most states allow the ruling political party to create districts that often are so out of whack, often resembling a Rorschach test, designed not with the people in mind, but rather the political interests of a particular partisan elected official.

Gerrymandered districts go seeking populations of voters who identify with a Republican or Democratic candidate and depending on who is drawing the districts, tend to vote for that party. Republicans aren’t the only abusers of gerrymandering. Democrats, when in power, are just as likely to draw districts that keep them in power.

California attempted to end political gerrymandering when it passed Proposition 11 in 2008 with the Voters First Act, which created a commission charged with drawing the boundaries of California's Congressional, Senate, Assembly, and Board of Equalization electoral districts. Our commission has 14 members consisting of five Democrats, Five Republicans, and four Declined to State.

And so far it's worked well, particularly in conjunction with the Open Primary, approved by California voters in 2010, which effectively took political parties out of the primary election system. Beginning with the 2012 elections, California voters can vote for any candidate in the primary and the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation, go on to the general election.

California had the right idea and its bold experiment in Democracy must be the guiding light for the 28th Amendment.