Redistricting: What to Know Now

/
4 mins read

Image credits: Political Cartoons


Redistricting has been hijacked. Partisanship has increased. Political districts are supposed to be revised to to reflect population changes but instead they’re being manipulated. Politicians in gerrymandered districts ignore their voters knowing that they cannot be voted out.

Redistricting occurs every ten years and it next happens in 2021. It’s time to understand redistricting trickery and free resources available so activists are better prepared to advocate for fair representation.

This blog presents an overview of redistricting. Future blogs will cover the apps for activists to draw fair district maps for hearings in more detail.

  • How redistricting is supposed to work
  • How Republican operatives hijacked the process to seize control. What is RatF***kery?
  • What are four of the worst gerrymandered districts? What is packing and stacking?
  • Free apps to draw fair district boundaries for public hearings like District Builder and Dave’s Redistricting
Redistricting is the process by which governments redraw political districts. It applies to all levels of government where district elections.

Background

Redistricting occurs every ten years for the government to redraw political districts to reflect how populations have changed over the past decade to provide fair representation. It plays a critical role in who runs for office, who is elected, and how they vote once they’re in office. The makeup of a district can significantly influence how and whether elected officials respond to a community’s needs.

Redistricting determines who is elected, economic opportunity, healthcare, schools, roads and other resources allocated to a district. Redistricting is supposed follow [these] principles:
Contiguity: Every district has to remain connected–they can’t “jump” from one place to another.
Compactness: With few exceptions, districts shouldn’t be drawn in extremely odd shapes.
Communities of Interest: Generally, districts should try to keep populations that share interests–e.g., fishing communities–together as much as possible.
– Power Coalition

Free apps to make complex issues easier to understand

Redistricting can be complex and has many facets. This complexity is used to hide the manipulation underway. I used Wakelet and StoryMaps to describe redistricting and free resources for activists advocating for fair representation. The apps are free and create digital stories that are easily shared and revised.

  • Wakelet – to collect, curate and share web content as a link.
  • StoryMaps – to create stories with interactive maps, text, images and videos that can be shared with a link.
Politicians use redistricting to draw their districts to stay in power. Learn more to advocate for fair redistricting in 2021.
Redistricting Wakelet
Redistricting and gerrymandering distort the democratic process.
Redistricting StoryMap

Resources

  • District Builder – Free app that puts the power of drawing electoral maps in the hands of the people to increase transparency and prevent gerrymandering.
  • Dave’s Redistricting – Free app to empower citizens to advocate for fair and transparent redistricting. Create, analyze and share district maps with DRA 2020.
  • Power Coalition – Understand the redistricting process and how citizens can advocate for fair representation.
  • Ranker – The twelve most gerrymandered districts in the country.

Takeaway: Help more people understand redistricting and prepare to advocate for fair representation in the 2021 redistricting process.

Deepak
DemLabs


Recent Articles


DemLabs is a project of the Advocacy Fund


DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.


Democracy Labs is a hub for ongoing technology and creative innovation that serves progressive campaigns and organizations at the national, state, and local levels.

Our focus is on long term, sustainable and affordable solutions. An approach that is longer than an election cycle, and isn’t purely dependant on volunteers, can enable more qualified candidates to run for office and for more issue groups to bring about positive social change.

Democracy Labs is a project of the Tides Advocacy Fund.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Are You Tired of Winning Yet?

Next Story

Tell Your Representatives to Pass $2000 Stimulus Survival Checks!

Latest from Explainer

%d bloggers like this: