Vote Nevada Supporters,
Most of this update focuses on the Census and redistricting, but, there are upcoming meeting reminders at the end.
The Census Bureau will release the first round of 2020 data to draw redistricting maps this Thursday, August 12th. There is a press conference on 8/12 at 10 am via live stream, more details here: https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2021/news-conference-2020-census-redistricting-data.html
To date, we have no information about Nevada’s redistricting process, which must include public input. The legislature passed SCR13 in the recent legislative session to create a second interim study on reapportionment and redistricting, but we have no information about the committee.
States such as Oregon have already constituted working groups, such as a Peoples Redistricting Commission, and scheduled public forums for input: https://www.registerguard.com/story/news/2021/08/09/oregon-secretary-state-unveils-peoples-redistricting-commission/5522580001/
Consequently, if you are interested in the very important redistricting process, there are things we can do now to get ready through a growing list of redistricting resources available for civic-minded individuals and groups.
Vote Nevada has a Redistricting Resources blog page, which includes a recording that covers the history of redistricting and an overview of the software our legislature will use to draw our maps. Anyone, you and me, can use this software to draw and check maps as well. You will also find information about the Representable software tool that allows individuals and communities to draw “communities of interest” maps on this blog page. https://vote-nevada-blog.org/redistricting-resources/
You can review how the redistricting software works through this YouTube video as well: https://youtu.be/jGnfVQz4JdM
Colorado Law Professor Doug Spencer is managing the All About Redistricting website where anyone can learn about redistricting in all 50 states, including litigation: https://redistricting.lls.edu/
Two nonpartisan civil rights organizations announced today their plans to stop gerrymandering by empowering individuals and groups to be directly involved in integrity-checking redistricting maps.
The Campaign Legal Center announced PlanScore.org as a tool anyone can use to evaluate maps for partisan gerrymandering. https://campaignlegal.org/update/campaign-legal-center-presents-planscoreorg-premiere-tool-measure-gerrymandering
There is a webinar on using PlanScore.org on August 17th at 11 am; you can RSVP here:
The Princeton Gerrymandering Project, which Vote Nevada has been working with since last spring, announced a partnership with RepresentUs that produced software to create Redistricting Report Card. https://act.represent.us/sign/redistricting-report-card-launched-representus-princeton-gerrymandering-project/
“This scoring tool was designed to be the most comprehensive method available for detecting gerrymander attempts in the 2021-2022 redistricting cycle,” said Professor Sam Wang, Director of the Electoral Innovation Lab and Princeton Gerrymandering Project. “It is critical that we deliver to citizens ways to evaluate and correct attempts to skew representation. Our democracy depends on a transparent representation model that is responsive to citizens. We want citizens and map experts nationwide to use tools like this to reclaim their power in the democratic process.”
And the Five Thirty-Eight blog will be analyzing congressional redistricting maps for partisanship: https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/redistricting-2022-maps/?fbclid=IwAR1MDNjqzLok-CTWq8Ptz9bvOWOs4TOArfsY5lV-5cKeS1ORfQkOEMM2TPg
Hopefully, these combined efforts to empower the people in redistricting will finally put an end to politicians picking their voters through manipulated maps. And once unfair advantages gained through consultants drawing “favorable” maps goes away, we can hopefully begin redistricting in Nevada through a process subject to the Open Meeting law.
The Fair Maps Nevada team continues to support anti-gerrymandering efforts, including the For the People Act and bills submitted in 2021 to create a redistricting commission. We have not abandoned our effort to create an independent redistricting commission that will function under the Open Meeting law and will include representation from the growing pool of nonpartisan voters.
If you are interested in supporting a second attempt to pass the Fair Maps Nevada ballot question, you can read about it and what happened last year here: https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/the-fair-maps-steeplechase-continues and here: https://vote-nevada-blog.org/redistricting-commission-amendment/
To qualify a ballot question next year, we will need 140,777 petition signatures from Nevadans who are registered to vote and we will need to raise funds for legal expenses and outreach. You can indicate your willingness to sign a redistricting ballot question petition here: https://forms.gle/ZiJ19ef85d4E8eoV8
Vote Nevada also has two events coming up:
Our growing number of nonpartisan Nevadans have all the same rights and opportunities as voters registered with the political parties, including the right to run for office. Join us on Saturday, August 14th, via Zoom, 9-10:30 am to review Nevada’s laws that govern nonpartisans running for office. RSVP here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEpf-GhrDsoG9IjM0JV9-jmvA0SMXkdXylK
As we all attend town halls and complete surveys to provide feedback on how our elected officials should spend the $6.7 billion of American Rescue Plan funding, we also need to think about how to address structural problems in our economy. On August 28th, via Zoom, 9-10:30 am, join us for a panel discussion, featuring CSN Nevada Grow Counselor Michelle Chan, Senator Pat Spearman, Regent Laura Perkins, and Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel. We will focus on ensuring no one is left out or left behind in this round of economic development. RSVP here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvdumqqDMrGd0QU1Y7KQ19YEwmyJo83U78
Lastly, we have a strong and growing partnership with the Las Vegas Alliance of Black School Educators, please review the group’s website if you are interested in also attending their meetings: https://lvabse.org/
Thank you for being Nevadans with me,
Vote Nevada: Solving Problems with Civics
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