Redistricting and Fair Democracy
Fair Democracy requires fair representation but the current method for determining legislative district boundaries is deeply flawed. At present, district boundaries are determined by whichever political party is in power after a Census (Redistricting). That means that they can be drawn in such a way as to maximize the chance that the party in power will get re-elected. Therefore, it is important that a bipartisan method be created that will provide fair representation.
How does redistricting affect the vote?
MEET THE MATH PROFESSOR WHO’S FIGHTING GERRYMANDERING WITH GEOMETRY
Dr. Moon Duchin is a Math professor at Tufts who, with four other colleagues, created the Metric Geometry and Gerrymandering Group (MGGG) in 2017. Their purpose was to create mathematical tools to evaluate fairness of existing district representation and proposed changes (redistricting). The group started training mathematicians to prepare them to be expert witnesses for redistricting court cases.
Efforts to Create Fair Districts
In January 2017, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) was created by former President, Barack Obama, and former Attorney General, Eric Holder Jr., as a Not-For-Profit 527 Organization to fight against unrepresentative and unfair redistricting. Eric Holder is the current Chair of the committee. The committee has a four-part strategy: "advancing legal action, mobilizing grassroots energy, supporting reforms and winning targeted elections."
The National Redistricting Action Fund (NRAF) is the NDRC's 501(c)(4) affiliate devoted to the grassroots portion of the strategy with the aim of organizing, educating and engaging supporters in the battle against unfair redistricting. To facilitate the process, NRAF is merging with Organizing for Action (OFA), a non-profit 501(c)(4) that was established to advocate for progressive legislation and support individuals who are engaged in progressive platforms but not specifically support political candidates by political party.
Common Cause is a non-partisan grassroots organization, founded in 1970, that is working to create an "open, honest, and accountable government that serves that fair and inclusive representation in voting districts as well as fair voting procedures.
Team of the Lakes is working with Common Cause Minnesota on a Redistricting Reform Bill for Minnesota. We are in a coalition with other groups, focused on the redistricting issue and changes to the process, we seek. Changes that will help to avoid gerrymandering, and ensure a fair democracy as best as possible within the confines of our State Constitution. We are advocating for a nonpartisan redistricting advisory commission.
Annastacia Belladonna-Carrera, the Executive Director of Common Cause Minnesota, is working hard on developing policy to help make fair redistricting in Minnesota. The policy would create a non-partisan committee composed of Democrats, Republicans Independents and judges who would decide what would constitute fair representation The policy includes developing clear criteria for creating representative districts.
If you are interested in being involved, her group has created a facebook group that you can ask to join: Minnesotans for Partisan Free Redistricting. Through this group, you can be notified when the bill is available for public input, and be involved in processes that affect the bill: notified when to attend a committee hearing, learn how to effectively communicate with a
committee in support the bill, or learn how to advocate for the bill on social media etc. In addition there are weekly webinars and trainings put on by Common Cause for all of us so that we are ready to take action as needed. Click here to learn how to join the group.