Gerrymander Gazette: Return of Bennifer Edition

Trainings and Events

  • Congratulations to the CHARGE team for completing their second national redistricting training last week. The coalition has now shortened the training from four hours to three and has one more on the calendar. The third training will take place on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 12 pm – 3 pm ET / 11 am – 2 pm CT / 10 am – 1 pm MT / 9 am – 12 pm PT / 6 am – 9 am HI. Register here.
  • The Princeton Gerrymandering Project is proud to announce the launch of its Great American Map Off, a contest challenging the public to draw redistricting plans for seven crucial states — Wisconsin, Colorado, Ohio, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina and New York — in anticipation of the 2021 redistricting cycle. Prizes will be awarded. 
  • Wisconsin: The legislative rollout of the Fair Maps bill will take place on May 17th at 12pm CT on the Capitol Lawn. The public is welcome to join this event “Rally for Fair Maps.” COVID-19 safety precautions will be followed.
  • Hawaii’s Reapportionment Commission hosted its second public meeting today at noon HT. See video of the first meeting here.
  • On May 11th, the first of 16 public hearings being conducted this summer by Michigan’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission took place in Jackson, MI. Quentin Turner, Program Director of Common Cause MI, testified to request that the commission does not start the map making process using the current gerrymandered district maps and should instead create new ones from scratch. Turner argued that using the current maps as a baseline would bake those inequities into the new maps. 

Funding Opportunities

  • The Sacramento (CA) Independent Redistricting Commission is offering stipends of between $250 and $5,000 for community organizations interested in encouraging Sacramento residents to participate in the redistricting process.

Resources, materials, tools, & guides

  • Common Cause’s Kathay Feng and Dan Vicuna participated in a Facebook Live event to give an update on the For the People Act (S.1/H.R. 1), detail its redistricting reform provisions, and discuss what is happening in the states to combat gerrymandering.


Job/Volunteer postings

  • El Paso County (TX) is seeking volunteers to join the El Paso County Redistricting Advisory Commission. This commission will recommend districts to the El Paso County Commissioners Court for consideration. Applications are due May 20, 2021.
  • The New Mexico State Ethics Commission is accepting applications for the state’s newly created Citizen Redistricting Committee. Applications are due May 21, 2021.  
  • The City and County of San Francisco Elections Commission has EXTENDED the application period for its three seats on the city’s Redistricting Task Force. Applications are now due June 1, 2021 at 5:00 pm PT. In addition to English, the application has also been made available in Arabic, Chinese, Filipino, and Spanish.

This newsletter has been produced by Common Cause and compiled by Dan Vicuna. Subscribe to the Gerrymander Gazette here. For more information or to pass along news, contact Dan Vicuna.

Read past issues here.