Every 10 years, the United States completely erases current voting district borders, and creates new ones using census data that has tracked demographic changes over the past ten years.
How these districts are drawn is incredibly important, and in many states, is used as a tool of disenfranchisement, racism, and reinforcing voter disparities. Ensuring a fair voter redistricting process is one of the most important ways to ensure equity, transparency and accountability in our democratic institutions. This process is currently underway, and voting commissions are being formed to explore the best way to redraw these districts.
We are putting together an informal research group to create a written report and presentation for 2021 legislative bodies and voting district commissions, and a toolkit for engaged citizens on the advantage of including watersheds and ecoregional based data as part of this voting district creation process, and also to better educate the public on the importance of the census and how to be better involved.
As part of this document we are providing a list of question prompts. We are sending this to anyone interested in helping us create this document. Please fill out the questions to the best of your answers, and then we will go over the answers together, and assign more specific point people to help flush out and answer each question. A small team of us will work to collate the answers together with a nice layout. Folks are welcome to be involved as much, or as little as they like, and all input is welcome and appreciated.
Goals and Objectives
Our goal is the incorporation and exploration of watershed districts by voting districting commissions at the state and county level throughout the Cascadia bioregion, including Alaska, British Columbia (provincial level and lower levels), California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, and a better understanding for ourselves of the advantages and drawbacks of what this could look like.
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested!