Focus Area 5: Civic Engagement & Education
GOAL: Deepen U.S. residents’ education and engagement in their community around redistricting processes
The prior focus areas cover much of the advocacy work within the program, but the civic engagement and education focus area is the foundation on which all other focus areas rest. In order to have a successful impact on redistricting efforts at the community level, the people impacted need to be involved. In order for people to get involved, they need to be comfortable communicating their needs as individuals and within a larger community with shared interests and values. State and local League leaders have become thought leaders and subject matter experts in redistricting with strong relationships with community leaders. Armed with this expertise and access, state and local Leagues will engage residents in creating awareness about redistricting, its importance, and the impact redistricting has on how their vote is counted. Leagues will do this in their immediate and adjacent communities and in coalition with community partners.
The purpose of this effort is to educate and build confidence with individuals around community competence. When state residents feel ownership and an ability to exert influence over the decision process, there is a greater willingness to hold legislators and those leading the map drawing process accountable to them – not the other way around. Historically, there have been a variety of mechanisms to accomplish this: community forums, town halls, one-on-one interactions, and distribution of educational material—all activities that sit comfortably in League member’s wheelhouses. In sum, expertise is the intersection of skills, knowledge, and the ability to comfortably articulate information on a topic, so the League will work with communities to gain the necessary skills, knowledge, and expertise to demand a fair and transparent process.
All 50 States & District of Columbia