The League has worked for many decades to reform the redistricting process. State Leagues have played pivotal roles in several recent high-profile reform efforts—including the successful adoption of an Independent Citizens Commission process in California and the passage of groundbreaking criteria to inject competition and minority representation into the Florida process—and will work hand in hand with the national League this year empower voters to get involved in a process that too often has taken place out of the spotlight.
As we speak, Leagues are hosting public events, preparing testimony, educating the media, engaging key allies and taking advantage of exciting new mapping technology to ensure districts are drawn in the open and that the public has meaningful opportunities to weigh in during the 2011 redistricting process. To accomplish this, Leagues are adopting fresh approaches and partnerships. We’re particularly excited about the recent Virginia mapping contest, supported in part by the Virginia state League and aimed at increasing interest and knowledge of this issue among university students. And out in the Midwest, where several states will lose congressional seats, our Leagues are working closely with their Midwest Democracy Network partners to launch a campaign focused on empowering citizens to influence this year’s redistricting process and laying the groundwork for future reform.
Long respected by leaders on both sides of the aisle, our key state League champions will also be working closely with legislators and other stakeholders in order to improve the process from within. This includes advocating for adequate public comment periods, disclosure of committee timelines and other important details, and opportunities for community groups and others to get involved. Our Pennsylvania and Georgia Leagues have already garnered a great deal of media coverage on its efforts.