Redistricting Report Released by CLC and League of Women Voters
Today the Campaign Legal Center and the League of Women Voters of the United States released "Developing an Action Agenda for Redistricting in 2011", a report stemming from a conference convened to bring a broad spectrum of stakeholders and experts to the table to seek common ground.
Below is a letter describing the conference and the report to interested parties.
We are writing to share a report and summary of a redistricting conference held last July in Tarrytown, New York, that brought together experts and stakeholders from across the nation. With support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Joyce Foundation, and the Ford Foundation, the Pocantico Conference Center played host to a conference on " Developing an Action Agenda for Redistricting in 2011 " convened by the League of Women Voters of the United States and the Campaign Legal Center.
Our goal was to determine how we might work together to influence the results of the upcoming redistricting processes in states in the period following the 2010 Census. Committed to increasing the role that citizens play in redistricting, activists and experts exchanged ideas and came away with a plan to increase citizen involvement and effectiveness in the upcoming round of redistricting.
Both the conference and the report are timely. The 2010 Census is underway and recent news reports indicate that political parties at all levels are preparing to take political advantage of the reapportionment and redistricting that will follow. Participants at the Pocantico conference shared information, experience and perspectives on how to combat the blatantly partisan gerrymanders that remain all too common in America, and rob citizens of fair representation in Washington and in state capitals across the nation.
Although the organizations and individuals attending the conference held different views on how to reform the redistricting process itself, conferees agreed that greater transparency and citizen participation in redistricting are the keys to improving our nation's democracy. They also agreed on a number of specific principles and next steps. The conference was extremely productive and yielded three key results:
- Participants agreed to continue talking and working together in preparing for the post-2010 redistricting cycle;
- Consensus was reached on four "Essential Principles on Redistricting," which can be found on page 13 of the report;
- Many action steps were identified for organizations and individuals to prepare and to participate effectively in the 2011 redistricting.
Also included in the report is model legislative language to bring transparency to the process of redrawing legislative district lines. The model bill was drafted by the Campaign Legal Center at the request of the conferees and has been shared widely.
We hope that you will find the attached copy of the report useful in your own efforts to improve citizen participation in the redistricting process in the post-2010 cycle.
If we can answer any questions or be helpful in any way, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you for your continuing interest in this matter of such vital importance to the health of our democracy.
J. Gerald Hebert
Campaign Legal Center
Mary G. Wilson
League of Women Voters of the United States
To read the report, click here.