February 10, 2021
Coming Soon to Your Couch: Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission Public Meetings
We hear people say all the time, “I’m not interested in politics.” To which it can be replied, “Well, that’s really too bad, because politics are interested in you!”
In Indiana, we have a system in which elected politicians draw the legislative district maps used for state and congressional elections. Every ten years, they get together and literally place you into the groupings–districts–where they figure they are most likely to win based on voters’ Census data and voting records. By drawing made-to-order maps, your representatives are choosing you long before election day, when you are supposed to be choosing them. In this way the process called redistricting is the ultimate conflict of interest. If you sometimes doubt that your vote makes any difference, or wonder why in some elections you don’t even have a choice of candidates to vote for, our redistricting system is a big reason why.
This year is a redistricting year. It happens only once a decade. Would you like a voice in the process this time? The Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC) has been formed to demonstrate that redistricting done in a transparent way that encourages public participation will result in congressional and state legislative districts that are better for voters than districts drawn by incumbent representatives behind closed doors.
The ICRC is holding virtual public meetings to hear from Hoosier voters what they want in their new districts. Should districts emphasize compactness? What about competition–should maps be drawn to maximize competitive elections? Should current politicians have districts drawn around their residences, or should they be drawn “incumbent blind”? Also, what are the important communities of interest in Indiana, and should they be kept intact, or divided, in the new districts?
You are invited to this conversation. What do you think should drive redistricting where you live? There will be an ICRC public meeting for each congressional district. It is important that the ICRC hear from a broad range of Hoosiers, because the testimony from these meetings will be consolidated into a report the ICRC will give to state legislators before they begin redistricting this spring, so they will know what voters say they want their maps to look like.
Redistricting will impact federal and state elections for the next decade. It really matters that Hoosiers from all over the state are a part of this conversation. Including you.
Here is the schedule for the public meetings. Again, all virtual—you can participate from your own couch! Register in advance, either at www.allinfordemocracy.org, or by using the link following the meeting for your congressional district listed below. And feel free to share this; the invitation is open to all. Note that the meeting for the district including Indianapolis (district 7) is first, and the meeting for many Indy suburbs (district 5) is second.
Now is the time to make your voice heard! Please contact Phil Goodchild with any questions (email@example.com; 317-790-9054). Thank you.
February 24 – Congressional District 7, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. EST
March 3 – Congressional District 5, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. EST
March 6 – Congressional District 1, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. CST
March 10 – Congressional District 9, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. EST
March 13 – Congressional District 3, 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. EST
March 16 – Congressional District 6, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. EST
March 18 – Congressional District 8, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. CST
March 23 – Congressional District 4, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. EST
March 30 – Congressional District 2, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. EDT