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 the Princeton Gerrymandering Project.
Draw Community Of Interest maps
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
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 Redistricting
Save and share Community of Interest maps
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.
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
Communities of interest
TakeAway: Make sure redistricting doesn't take away your voting power. Learn about redistricting and draw your own Community of Interest maps with Representable.
Image credit: Political Cartoons