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National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt
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National Civic Summit - Brennan Center For Justice - Justin Levitt

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  • 1. Redistricting and the Census Justin Levitt July 16, 2009
  • 2. The Brennan Center and redistricting Based at NYU, but work nationwide Think tank, advocacy group, law firm
    • Study of redistricting practices and reform initiatives
    • Analysis of proposals
    • Testimony before decisionmakers
    • Consulting for advocates
    • Advocacy and publication
  • 3. The Midwest Democracy Network Alliance of political reform advocates 5 Midwest states
    • Public education
    • Civic organization training
    • Policy formulation
    • Public advocacy and pressure for reform
  • 4. Today’s conversation
    • What?
    • Why?
    • When?
    • Who?
    • Where?
    • How?
  • 5. Today’s conversation
    • What?
    • Why?
    • When?
    • Who?
    • Where?
    • How?
  • 6. What is “redistricting”?
    • Every 10 years (at least), after the census
    • Congress, state legislature, many local legislatures
    • Sorts voters into groups, distributes political power, affects policy priorities
  • 7. Downtown Minneapolis
  • 8. Is this a good district?
  • 9. Is this a good district? You can’t know if a district is “good,” unless you know what it’s trying to achieve
  • 10. Today’s conversation
    • What?
    • Why?
    • When?
    • Who?
    • Where?
    • How?
  • 11. Why does redistricting matter?
    • Politicians choosing their voters
    • Eliminating incumbents or challengers
    • Diluting minority votes
    • Splitting up communities
    Hakeem Jeffries’ house •
  • 12. Today’s conversation
    • What?
    • Why?
    • When?
    • Who?
    • Where?
    • How?
  • 13. Key redistricting dates April 1, 2010 ― December 31, 2010 ― January 10, 2011 ― April 1, 2011 ― End of session 2011 ― Census Day Census count to President Apportionment to U.S. House Redistricting data to states Most redistricting complete
  • 14. Today’s conversation
    • What?
    • Why?
    • When?
    • Who?
    • Where?
    • How?
  • 15. Who draws the lines
    • In most states, the legislature has primary control
    • State legislative districts: 37 states
    • Congressional districts: 38 states (and 7 states with 1 Congressional district)
  • 16. Other redistricting institutions State legislative districts Congressional districts Advisory Backup Primary control in the legislature Primary control outside legislature
  • 17. Today’s conversation
    • What?
    • Why?
    • When?
    • Who?
    • Where?
    • How?
  • 18. Start with federal protections
    • Equal population – one person, one vote
    • Congress: as equal as possible
    • State legislature: ~10% spread if good reason
  • 19.
    • section 2: draw majority-minority districts to avoid dilution
    • section 5: preclear to ensure that minority voters aren’t made worse off
    • otherwise: can consider race, but race can’t “predominate” unless really good reason
    Cracking Packing Federal protections Race – Voting Rights Act and the Constitution
  • 20. The Voting Rights Act and beyond
  • 21. After federal law, add state limitations
    • Contiguity
    • Political boundaries
    • Compactness
    • Communities of interest
    • Partisanship/competition
    • Nesting
    State leg. Congress 45 14 38 13 34 13 19 8 9 6 14 (+3) n/a
  • 22. Today’s conversation
    • What?
    • Why?
    • When?
    • Who?
    • Where?
    • How?
  • 23. Influencing the process
    • Tangible next steps
    • Census
    • Redistricting
  • 24. Influencing the census
    • Educate your community
    • Recruit census takers
    • Become a census partner
    • Staff a help center
    • Fight the “boycott”
    • Focus on “hard to count” areas
  • 25. 2000 population in hard-to-count areas Source: Election Data Services
  • 26. 2000 Denver hard-to-count areas Source: Community Research Institute, Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, Grand Valley State U.
  • 27. Influencing redistricting (short-term)
    • Educate your community
    • Educate the media and drive the story
    • Identify and map community boundaries
    • Attend hearings
    • Present alternative maps
  • 28. Mapping community boundaries
  • 29. Communities of interest
    • Social interests
    • Cultural interests
    • Racial / ethnic interests
    • Economic / trade interests
    • Geographic interests
    • Communication and transportation networks
    • Media markets
    • Urban and rural interests
    • Occupations and lifestyles
  • 30. Influencing redistricting (long-term)
    • Alternative voting systems - Cumulative voting - Choice voting
    • Alternative redistricting entities - Independent commissions - Accountability seats
  • 31. Independent commissions
    • This is not about taking politics out of redistricting
    • It’s about limiting the role of self-dealing politicians
    • Why should one of the game’s players also be the referee?
  • 32. Independent commissions
    • Who chooses the commissioners?
    • How to ensure real diversity?
    • Which criteria are most important?
    • How to reconcile competing criteria?
    • How to get the right discretion?
    • Meaningful independence
    • Meaningful diversity
    • Meaningful guidance
    • Meaningful transparency
    Still need careful design
  • 33. Preparing for long-term change
    • Ballot initiatives
    • Legislative action
    - Substantial public support - Substantial funding - Bipartisan sponsorship - Support of minority communities Source: Initiative & Referendum Institute, University of Southern California - Substantial public support - Bipartisan sponsorship - Support of minority communities
  • 34. Building public support
    • Educate the media
    • Train community leadership
    • Secure validation from trusted elders
    • Model best practices (model commission)
  • 35. Further information
    • Justin Levitt Brennan Center for Justice www.brennancenter.org
    • Midwest Democracy Network www.midwestdemocracynetwork.org Booth 204 at the Expo, here at the Summit

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