Right now, politicians here in Minnesota have the power to draw their own electoral maps. For the past six decades, they’ve used this power to create maps benefiting themselves and their party – rather than doing what’s best for Minnesota communities. Their failure has left us without maps or a process that puts us front and center.
We can help fix this by establishing an Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) to take power out of the hands of politicians and bring it back to the people. Your Letter to the Editor will help build public support and pressure legislators to create an IRC.
How to Submit Your Letter to the Editor
- Visit the Star Tribune’s Letter to the Editor submission page.
- Fill in your name, address, and contact information.
- Using the tips below as a guide, write your Letter to the Editor in the “Letter submission” box. Keep it short and sweet – the Star Tribune has a limit of 250 words.
- Click “SUBMIT” to send your letter to the editors of the Star Tribune!
Tips for Writing Your Letter to the Editor
Letters to the Editor are meant to connect with people and show widespread support. You can use the following key points as a guide, but please use your own words and personal experiences to write your letter.
Who are you? Do you have lived experiences with redistricting and representation?
- ex: “My name is Amanda and I am a Minnesotan who is denied fair representation due to the Court’s “least change” approach resulting in minimal changes to my district lines.”
- ex: “My name is Bob and I am a Minnesotan who is denied fair representation because the Minnesota legislature changed my district lines behind closed doors to accommodate a politician who wanted to live at his lake home instead of focusing on impacted voters.”
What do you want? I want Minnesotans to shape our electoral maps – not self-interested politicians.
What is happening?
- Our current system gives politicians the power to draw their own electoral maps.
- When legislators draw their own maps, they often manipulate district lines to keep themselves and their party in power. They also make secret deals behind closed doors to grant themselves political favors. This is called gerrymandering.
- In Minnesota, the two major parties often can’t agree on electoral maps. When that happens, the power of drawing these maps falls on a judicial panel.
- When politicians and judicial panels draw electoral maps, everyday Minnesotans lose out.
- For six decades MN politicians failed to do their job and put us first. When they’ve failed to agree on maps, they’ve kicked the can to the limited role of the redistricting judicial panel.
- For six decades the judicial panel has applied a “least change” approach to drawing our maps that do not represent all Minnesotans. This has negatively impacted Minnesotans, especially communities of color that have been historically disenfranchised.
- In the most recent redistricting cycle, some self-interested politicians refused to implement a responsible redistricting process and instead drew their own maps behind closed doors. They favored their own electoral chances and convenience, instead of accurately representing Minnesota communities.
- The people – not the judiciary or the legislature – are best positioned to design our own electoral maps, putting our needs before the interests of any party or politician.
- An Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) is the solution.
- An IRC would bring power back to the people – removing politicians from the process, maximizing transparency, accountability and public engagement, while using redistricting principles that put Minnesotans first.
- Other states have successfully used IRCs to create voting maps that center communities and reverse partisan gerrymandering.
- Everyday Minnesotans don’t want Republican or Democratic maps – we want fair maps that give us a voice in our government, regardless of political party, race, ethnicity, or zip code.
What is your demand? Minnesota leaders must create an Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) to bring power back to the people and help build an inclusive democracy.