Protect your voting power during redistricting. Draw Community of Interest maps.

6 mins read

Follow DemLabs on our NEW social media!

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Protect your voting power during redistricting. Draw Community of Interest maps.

How redistricting draws boundaries often determines who gets elected.

Redistricting can split a community leaving people without a representative who feels responsible for their concerns. How the lines are drawn can change who controls the legislature, and which laws get passed. – Prof Justin Levitt

Some politicians rig the system by drawing districts packed with only their supporters. This gerrymandering denies voters their freedom to vote for who they want.

Communities of Interest (COI) help combat gerrymandering. A community is less likely to be split up in redistricting if it can identify itself on a map and show shared interests. This makes it easier for communities to elect officials that represent them. Draw your own Community of Interest map with Representable, a free new app from Princeton.

Draw Community Of Interest maps

Draw your own Community of Interest map to protect your voting power during redistricting

Communities of Interest (COI) help combat gerrymandering. If a community can identify itself on a map and show shared interests, it is less likely to be split up in the map drawing process. This makes it easier for communities to elect officials that represent them. A COI map is an easy way to show your community on a map to mapmakers. 

“Many states requires consideration of “communities of interest” when redistricting lines are drawn. Members of local communities can assist those in charge of the process by mapping out the boundaries of local communities that should be kept together within a district. Community members can also show the most appropriate places where the community might be split if necessary. Members of the public can agree on the boundaries of their own communities of interest through community forums.

It may be possible to present potential maps along with petitions with numerical support to the redistricting body in public hearings. These maps can be relatively small maps of individual community boundaries and do not have to be complete maps of the entire state. Maps especially those drawn by local community members help redistricting officials. Courts may refer to these maps for guidance as well if the redistricting process ends up in litigation.” – PROF. JUSTIN LEVITT’S GUIDE TO DRAWING THE ELECTORAL LINES

Understand district boundaries

Representable provides data layers with Congressional districts, state senate and counties to make it easier to draw communities of interest.

Redistricting is the way we change the districts that determine who represents us. These districts divide states and the people who live there into geographical territories. District lines often subdivide territory, so that there are several districts within one city or state, and representatives for each separate district.

State laws often require redistricting preserve “communities of interest” which is a group of people with a common interest that legislation might benefit. Kansas‘ 2002 guidelines offered a fairly typical definition: “[s]ocial, cultural, racial, ethnic, and economic interests common to the population of the area, which are probable subjects of legislation.” – All About RedistrictingLearn more about Redistricting – English, spanish, chinese, korean or vietnamese

Save and share Community of Interest maps

Representable makes it easier to draw maps of communities of interest.

Representable

Representable is a free app to create maps for Communities of Interest (COI), a groups of people share common social and economic interests, who are likely to have similar political concerns. Their goal is to democratize public testimony, inform map drawers, and encourage map analysis.

Representable gathers and shares community maps along for use by map drawers, journalists, analysts, and activists to create and evaluate proposed district maps. Representable maps can be uploaded into other mapping systems including Maptitude, ESRI, and Dave’s Redistricting App. 
Democratizes Public Testimony: Enables any individual to submit maps with their community information and share them.
Informs Map Drawers: Delivers COI data to map drawers, using a digital format that is easy to analyze.
Encourages Map Analysis: Supports journalists and analysts with data to evaluate proposed maps.Learn More about Representable

Redistricting background info

Princeton Gerrymandering Project nonpartisan analysis that bridges the gap between mathematics and the law to achieve fair representation through redistricting reform.
Dave’s Redistricting App – A free-to-use, public software for drawing and analyzing state legislative and congressional district plans.
Districtr – A free app from the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group for drawing state legislative and congressional district plans as well as communities.
GeoCivics Redistricting Materials – a suite of state-based resources to develop skills and knowledge for discussing the apportionment and redistricting process. These resources prepare community members with interactive tools and geospatial data about the drawing of electoral districts.

Redistricting criteria – PROF. JUSTIN LEVITT’S GUIDE TO DRAWING THE ELECTORAL LINES
Equal population
Minority representation
Contiguity
Political boundaries
Compactness
Communities of interest
Partisan outcomes

TakeAway: Make sure redistricting doesn’t take away your voting power. Learn about redistricting and draw your own Community of Interest maps with Representable.

Deepak
DemLabs

Image credit: Political Cartoons
Read in browser »


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

THURSDAY: Building Back Better with Sen. Casey, Rep. Cartwright

Next Story

EARTH DAY EVERY DAY: 51 Tips to Help the Planet

Latest from Explainer

%d bloggers like this: