House Redistricting Meetings Coming Up
The 2020 Census is winding down and change may be coming to a political district near you–your own, for instance. Earlier in the year the Census released state-level data that determine each state’s share of the 435 US Congressional districts. By the skin of our teeth, Minnesota kept its 8 districts. That doesn’t mean the boundaries of those districts will necessarily remain the same. The shape of the districts will be determined by process that’s now underway in the state house of representatives. But that’s not all that might change. You might have to memorize new state and house district numbers–it happened to some after the 2010 census. New faces might appear in your caucuses and conventions. And your state representative and senator might change. In a democracy, citizens don’t merely experience change; they drive it. Clean Elections MN wants you to have a say in how the political map is redrawn.
On August 12 the Census released the population figures down to the district level to all states and the public. The Minnesota House Redistricting Committee immediately scheduled a series of meetings to analyze the data in preparation for drawing new boundaries for the 8 US Congressional districts, the 67 state senate districts, and the 134 state house districts. The first meeting was on Wednesday, August 18; if you missed it, you can watch it on YouTube. There was no public testimony at this meetings; for the second meeting on Wednesday, August 25, however, the public was invited in. There were two sessions; the first began at 1 pm, the second started at 7 in the evening. Clean Elections Chair George Beck testified at the afternoon session. Both sessions were live-streamed.
Here’s a link to the committee’s web page with the full schedule. While on the website, you can subscribe to get updates on the process. The meetings, you will notice, are organized by district; please consider Zooming into the one in your district. If you submit testimony or contact your representative, Clean Elections MN hopes you will support Common Cause MN’s bill, HF2594, authored by Reps Klevorn and Bahner. The bill defines a robust redistricting process designed to encourage participation by citizens from all communities.
At the committee’s 8/25 meeting, former Clean Elections Chair George Beck testified on behalf of the bill, emphasizing the importance of fair redistricting to avoid extreme gerrymandering of districts like Wisconsin’s. Read his testimony here.
Common Cause Minnesota will be following the redistricting process and conducting workshops on how to interpret maps and even to help draw them. Click here to view the 8/19 CCMN webinar on testifying: And click here to register now for an August 31 CCMN webinar to help understand how to evaluate maps as they become available from official sources and citizen groups.
A partnership of non-profits mobilized during the census to promote a full count; it is now conducting the “Our Maps MN” campaign committed to ensure that the interests of all communities are included in the redistricting process. Find out more here. Watch community maps as they are submitted and learn how to draw your own here.