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Census Data Has Been Released: Here is How We Get Fair Maps

A person wearing a button that says "do you know what your gerrymander looks like?"

To determine how we will be represented and how funds for schools, hospitals, and other essential services will be allocated, we come together every decade to draw new district lines that give each of our votes equal weight and stature and each of our communities' equal resources.  

On August 12 the Census Bureau released the data that states will use to inform how our community districts will be redrawn at all levels of government. 

The districts drawn this year will shape our lives and communities for the next ten years which means we all need to pay attention and stay involved in the process! Below, check out what to know and how to be part of the fight for fair maps!

Why This Matters

The community districting process can be manipulated by decision-makers (this is sometimes called gerrymandering). Yet, transparency and public participation in the process help keep this from happening. Community organizers and advocates have been working tirelessly for years to ensure that we achieve fair maps—now it’s up to you to get involved! 

How You Can create fair maps

Participate in public hearings! 

When states start drawing district lines, there are opportunities for public input and participation. Make your voice heard in the process by finding out when there are hearings and preparing to participate. Check out these steps for participating:

  • Find out about your state process and who is in charge of drawing the lines. Your state or local League can be a great resource. 

  • Learn where and when there are opportunities for public engagement and input! Get your voice and priorities on the record! 

  • Consider your community! How districts are drawn determines the resources accessible to your community. Think about your own community: where do you live? Where is your closest hospital? Check out this resource to learn more

Engage your community! 

Achieving fair maps means that our voices and community needs are centered. Use this as an opportunity to bring in your friends, family, networks, and community into the community districting process. 

  • Talk to your friends, neighbors, families, and networks about redistricting! 

  • Check out this training on how to talk to and engage your networks! 

  • Post about community districting on social media! Here are some pieces you can share.
     

Learn More About Fair Maps

 

 

 

 

Advocate to improve the process! 

There is federal legislation we can advocate for that will create criteria nationwide criteria for map drawing, improving transparency, and public input in community districting. Make sure you are supporting all of them! 

  • Pass the For the People Act! The For the People Act improves the redistricting process by creating standardized criteria that should be considered when drawing maps and injecting more transparency into the process.  

  • Advocate to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (JLVRAA) once it is introduced! The JLVRAA will re-empower the Voting Rights Act and ensure accountability and oversight to state/local/jurisdictional changes to any redistricting process. 

Stay in the know! 

In 2019, The League of Women Voters launched our People Powered Fair Maps™ redistricting reform program to prepare ourselves, members, and the public for the community districting process. Staying up to date on key information helps ensure that we are all able to use timely and accurate information to inform our work. Here are ways to stay in the know! 

  • Leagues in every state plus DC are engaged in the effort to achieve fair maps! Find a Local League near you to join and stay involved as states start community districting! 

When we draw maps, we choose what hospitals, schools, and resources are funded in our neighborhood. Together, we can achieve fair maps.