Jane Fellows
                                Jane Fellows stars as Mary Ellen McCaffree in the one-woman play “Many Maps, One Voice.” (Stephen R. Young)

Jane Fellows Jane Fellows stars as Mary Ellen McCaffree in the one-woman play “Many Maps, One Voice.” (Stephen R. Young)

Play tells story of one woman’s fight against gerrymandering

The play “Many Maps, One Voice” about state Rep. Mary Ellen McCaffree is showing April 7 in Everett.

A frustrated mother is thrust into a legislative lion’s den in “Many Maps, One Voice,” staging April 6-7 in Snohomish County PUD’s auditorium in Everett.

The one-woman play follows the real-life experiences of Mary Ellen McCaffree and her fight to redistrict Washington state.

McCaffree was frustrated about her children’s ill-funded and overcrowded schools. As a volunteer with the League of Women Voters in Seattle, she realized it was because of gerrymandered legislative districts that funds were not forthcoming from Olympia.

She made such name for herself fighting for redistricting in 1960s that she was approached by both political parties about running for the Legislature. She did run, and she won. McCaffree served as a representative of the 32nd District for four terms, from 1962 to 1970.

Mary Ellen McCaffree

Mary Ellen McCaffree

McCaffree had to navigate through dysfunction, obstruction and partisan ploys, but with the help of colleagues such as Sen. Slade Gorton and Gov. Dan Evans, she managed to accomplish her mission of fairly redistricting Washington.

“She ingrained in me that it doesn’t take some kind of extraordinary person to get amazing things done,” said her granddaughter, Alison McCaffree.

The play, sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Snohomish County, is based on McCaffree’s book, “Politics of the Possible: The Decade Our American Democracy Worked,” from 2011.

Jane Fellows

Jane Fellows

In “Many Maps, One Voice” Jane Fellows plays Mary Ellen McCaffree. Fellows is a Portland actress with more than 30 years of experience on stage.

Two performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. April 6 and 2 p.m. April 7 in the Snohomish County PUD auditorium, 2320 California St., Everett. Tickets, available online at Brown Paper Tickets, are $20 for general admission, $15 for seniors and military and $5 for students.

For more information about the League of Women Voters of Snohomish County, go to www.lwvsnoho.org.

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