WASHINGTON – Today the League of Women Voters published their 2022 redistricting report for the organization’s program People Powered Fair Maps™. The report covers three years of work and shows that when people are involved, there is greater transparency in the process, which results in fairer maps that elevate communities.
The program launched in September 2019, following the ruling in the landmark case Rucho v. League of Women Voters of North Carolina, when the Supreme Court failed to set a standard to curb partisan gerrymandering. With an initial investment of $1 million, the League invested nearly $2 million across all 50 states and DC on resources to educate and engage the public on redistricting and leverage tools to support Leagues in drawing and submitting maps that comply with the Voting Rights Act and community of interest doctrines. The report highlights the League’s impact in successfully creating and implementing fairer maps in California, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
“We are proud of the impact the League had on creating greater transparency in the 2021 redistricting cycle,” said Virginia Kase Solomón, CEO of the League of Women Voters. “While there is still more work to be done, the People Powered Fair Maps initiative demonstrates that civic engagement, organizing, education, and partnerships are the best ways to ensure communities are fairly represented in our democracy. When people are involved, we get better maps.”
Leagues in 24 states organized public hearings, providing space for people to advocate on behalf of their communities to map drawers. In 38 states, Leagues drew community maps using tools like Dave’s Redistricting App, PlanScore, and the Princeton Gerrymandering Project. The League joined 11 state lawsuits and six federal cases challenging congressional and state gerrymandered maps in California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
"Litigation continues to be a necessary tool for systemic reform and we successfully challenged partisan gerrymandering in four states and racial gerrymandering in two,” said Celina Stewart, Chief Counsel for the League of Women Voters. “These victories established better representation for Asian American and Pacific Islander, Black, and Latino communities. But the work is far from over, we are still fighting for fair maps in Alabama, Georgia, New York, Ohio, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin, and hope that the courts rule in favor of communities over politicians.”
Throughout the redistricting cycle, the League navigated the COVID-19 global pandemic to safely engage over 1.4 million people in redistricting and collaborate with over 2,400 partners which helped reach communities that are traditionally underrepresented in the redistricting process. Additionally, the League joined Asian Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), Center for Popular Democracy, Common Cause, Fair Count, Mi Familia Vota, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Congress of American Indians, and State Voices to form the Coalition Hub for Advancing Redistricting and Grassroots Engagement (CHARGE).
"APIAVote was proud to partner with the League of Women Voters during the 2021-2022 redistricting cycle. As co-members of the Coalition Hub Advancing Redistricting and Grassroots Engagement ("CHARGE"), we collaborated on curriculum development, training, and resource development to help inform our audience about why redistricting matters and how people can get involved and have a say. We were grateful to offer an Asian American and Pacific Islander perspective to this very important discussion!" Christine Chen, Executive Director of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote.
“The fight for transparency and fair maps is a community fight,” said Demetrius Fisher, national campaign manager for People Powered Fair Maps. “This program has reminded us that working in partnership with community members and leaders is key to ensuring fair maps. The League is proud to be a founding member of CHARGE and looks forward to working with the coalition ahead of the 2031 redistricting cycle to continue building a people-powered redistricting movement.”
While some states have better maps because of the People Powered Fair Maps program, there is still more work to be done. The League will continue to push for redistricting reform at the state and federal levels. Leagues in Arkansas, Oregon, and South Dakota are pushing for redistricting reform on the 2022 ballot.
Read the full impact report.
PRESS CONTACT: LaQuita Howard | [email protected] | (202) 843-0573
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People Powered Fair MapsTM is a national redistricting program of the League of Women Voters focused on creating fair political maps nationwide. The program includes actions in all 50 states + D.C.