MAY 2018No Legislative Summer Study, So We'll Have Our Own Despite the passage of Senate Concurrent Resolution 30 (sponsored by Senator Greg Walker) which called for a summer study committee on redistricting issues, the Legislative Council failed to assign the issue to a committee. So, there will be no official legislative study committee this summer. But, that's not all bad. Study committee chairs alternate between the House and Senate each year, so it was the House's turn to chair this year. Without Senator Walker leading the effort we could have ended up with a bad recommendation, so it's probably just as well the Legislative Council didn't follow through. And, their failure will give our coalition the opportunity to sponsor a conference this summer to bring in several national experts on key redistricting issues to educate both lawmakers and activists. We'll need your help spreading the word about the conference and getting legislators to attend. No date set yet - we're looking at mid to late summer - more news to come.
Big Reform Win in Ohio Redistricting reform advocates in Ohio scored an impressive ballot initiative win to amend their Constitution and change the way that Congressional districts are drawn. While legislators will still be in charge of the map drawing, a new procedure will be put in place that requires the majority party to gain a certain amount of minority party support before new districts can be adopted. Here's a good article from the Washington Post that describes the Ohio reform effort. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/05/09/ohio-voters-just-made-gerrymandering-more-trouble-than-its-worth/?utm_term=.bff2f46c84f8
Lake County Cities Adopt Resolution We're up to 25 local governments that have passed our resolution calling on the Indiana General Assembly to pass redistricting reform. The Lake County cities of Whiting and Hobart are the latest to take action in support of an end to gerrymandering. We'd like to get at least 30 resolutions adopted before next year - is your city on the list?
Coming Soon: Redistricting Reform Activist Trainings It's time to get back out on the road and hold trainings for redistricting reform activists. We'd like to hold at least 4 over the summer in locations around the state - we are coordinating will coalition partners and will be choosing dates and locations soon - please let us know if you want to host a training in your community.
Here are two definitions of importance and links to learn more about the process.
"Apportionment: The process for allocating representative seats within a geographic area or political jurisdiction according to changes in population. For example: Seats in the United States House of Representatives are distributed among the 50 states according to each new Census, with states that gain population receiving more seats and those that lose population getting fewer."
This applies not just to Congress but also to all state voting districts. Links to all current districts can be found at the Tippecanoe County Board of Elections and Registration.
"Gerrymandering: Redrawing district lines in such a way as to create a particular result."
LWVIN, LWVGL and other Indiana Local Leagues are targeting the redistricting process for action. Go to the LWVIN website for details and resources to learn more about the process and read the 2013 revised LWVIN Redistricting Position. The Special Interim Study Committee on Redistricting established by the Indiana State Legislature during the 2015 General Assembly is reviewing contact the League at email@example.com.
Learn more about why removing legislators from the redistricting process is critical for protecting Democracy. Watch this short movie Gerrymandering 101.
Check out the November 15, 2015 broadcast of Politically Speaking. The topic for discussion - 'The Election Process and Local Policy Impact'.