Proposed principles ensure fair representation for BIPOC Minnesotans
St. Paul, Minn. — Today, Common Cause Minnesota recommended redistricting criteria to the state’s special redistricting panel to ensure fair representation and equal political voice for Minnesota’s rapidly growing communities of color. The brief recommends the panel reject the “least-change” strategy being promoted by other plaintiffs and instead adopt principles that protect communities of interest. The brief also outlines specific principles for congressional and legislative districts for the panel to follow when drawing new district boundaries.
“It’s time to end this state’s sad tradition of splitting our communities in a process that continues the status quo of placing the interest of politicians ahead of the people,” said Annastacia Belladonna-Carrera, executive director of Common Cause Minnesota. “These redistricting principles will ensure that Minnesota’s Indigenous, disenfranchised, and communities of color have a say in the decisions impacting their everyday lives for decades to come. We are asking the panel to give deference to these people-centered principles that recognize our state’s growing racial diversity and ensure equitable representation for all of us.”
Today’s filing follows Common Cause Minnesota’s initial lawsuit to include Indigenous Minnesotans and communities of color in the state’s redistricting process. The lawsuit is unique from the other lawsuits filed as it is the only lawsuit to focus solely on these disenfranchised communities’ interests, as opposed to political or other interests for consideration. Unlike the other lawsuits, incumbent protection or political party control is of no concern for Common Cause Minnesota and the other co-plaintiffs.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Black, Indigenous, and people of color communities fueled 85 percent of the state’s population growth over the last decade. Yet, these same communities of color lack political influence and voting power, reflected in key economic prosperity indicators. When it comes to income and poverty levels, labor force participation rates, levels of educational attainment, and rates of home and business ownership, the disparities between BIPOC and white communities are some of the worst in the entire country. Common Cause Minnesota argues that improving the economic prosperity of Indigenous, disenfranchised and communities of color starts with fair redistricting.
To read the brief, click here.