Today, the U.S. Census Bureau will release demographic data from the 2020 Census that will paint a detailed picture of America’s diverse communities.
States and localities use the data to redraw federal, state, and local legislative district boundaries that will shape each state’s elections for the next decade. The process is meant to ensure that as populations grow and change, every American continues to have equal representation and equal voice in government.
Because of the statewide Complete Count Committee’s ‘get out the count’ efforts, Rhode Island will maintain our current two congressional districts. Read more here.
The data released today provides the first detailed look in ten years at the demographic characteristics of communities. It includes the breakdown of race and ethnicity, voting-age population, occupied and vacant housing units, and people living in group quarters, such as nursing homes, prisons, military barracks, and college dorms, of the nation’s communities by state, city, and county.
The U.S. Census Bureau will deliver the data in a raw format, known as “legacy data,” which was used in the 2010 and 2000 Census. By September 30, the Census Bureau will make the data available online, in a more user-friendly format.
Statement from Common Cause Rhode Island Executive Director John Marion
Today’s release of redistricting data allows Rhode Island to begin the process of drawing new voting district maps that will shape our elections for the next ten years.
While this process has historically been conducted by political insiders for their own benefit, 2021 is our year to flip the script and ensure that the voices of our communities, particularly those of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander and other communities of color are at the center of the conversation.
When redistricting is fair, transparent, and includes everyone, our maps are more likely to be representative and secure free, fair, and responsive elections for the next decade. That is why we are advocating for a process that prioritizes opportunities for meaningful public input, public access to the redistricting data used by mapmakers in Rhode Island, and a mapmaking process conducted in the public interest.
Fair maps mean the politicians must work to earn every vote in every corner of the district because we the people get to choose our elected representatives, not the other way around.