Citizens’ help sought to redraw congressional districts

 

The League of Women Voters of La Porte County is encouraging individuals to apply to serve on the Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission, whose purpose is to devise congressional districts that will serve the public interest, not the interests of politicians. 

The commission will conduct a series of virtual public meetings in January and February 2021 and take public testimony on what redistricting criteria should guide the map-drawing process. The committee will submit the maps to a coalition whose members will lobby the Legislature to adopt them, instead of maps produced by the incumbent politicians behind closed doors.

Every 10 years after the U.S. Census is completed, states begin the process of redistricting (the redrawing of congressional districts) in an effort to fairly represent the electorate. As the 2020 Census has recently concluded, the redistricting process is about to begin. The redistricting process sometimes devolves into an art called “gerrymandering,” which is the practice of drawing district boundaries to achieve political advantage for a particular party. This process involves the manipulation of district boundaries to leave out, or include, specific populations to ensure a legislator’s re-election or to keep a particular party in control. 

The La Porte County league has joined the state league and Common Cause to support fair redistricting. The redistricting commission will advocate for a politically balanced group of nine citizens (three Republicans, three Democrats and three Independents) to work transparently and in cooperation with citizens to devise districts that will serve the public interest, not the interests of politicians.

The commission will also sponsor a map-drawing competition and will serve as the judges for that competition. The maps that best fulfill the criteria established and endorsed by the commission will be awarded cash prizes. 

Anyone interested in serving on the redistricting commission must submit an application by Jan. 4, 2021. Applications are available at lwvlaporte.org or by sending an email to lwvlaporte@gmail.com. 

The League of Women Voters of La Porte County is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.

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