Redistricting

Redistricting

Achieving Fair Representation

Redistricting is one of the most important electoral processes we have as a country; the strength of a community's voice depends on district lines that fairly and honestly reflect its character. Too often, communities are excluded from the process because they lack knowledge about the process and access to technology.

Community involvement in the redistricting process is critical to move the ideas and input of communities of color into the formal policy discussion at the local, state and national level and ensure communities of color have a "seat at the table" when legislative boundaries are drawn.

Advancement Project’s main goal in our national Redistricting Project is to build power in communities of color through grassroots engagement in redistricting planning relevant to local campaigns. We will provide grassroots organizations representing communities of color with the tools they need to participate in the redistricting process.

What is redistricting?

"Redistricting is the process of drawing new electoral district boundaries (i.e. changing district lines) in order to equalize district populations. The overall purpose of redistricting is to review districts and where necessary redraw districts in order to address any changes in population concentration. Many types of elected bodies require redistricting, including state, county, municipal, school, and special districts."*

Why do we have redistricting?

"In the 1960s, the US Supreme Court found that decades of maintaining the same districts had led to vast inequalities in district populations.  That is, some districts had very large populations while others had very low populations.  The Supreme Court found that this population inequality (also called mal-apportionment) was a violation of the US Constitution’s guarantee to equal protection.  This is because the votes of people living in very populous districts were “worth less” than the votes of people living in less populated districts.  As a result, in order to comply with the Constitution, districts must contain about the same number of people so that votes are “worth” about the same amount.  This is sometimes called the “one person, one vote” requirement."*

 

*Source: Redistricting California