Political districts are redrawn every 10 years after the census to reflect population changes. The process is supposed to ensure fair representation of all residents. However, partisan “gerrymandering” often results when district lines are drawn by incumbent elected officials or state legislatures controlled by one party with the goal of providing an overwhelming advantage to that political party. As we look ahead to 2020, redistricting has become a major focus for political activism because it will set the stage for legislative decisions at all levels of government for the next decade. Redistricting issues are also increasingly the focus of judicial scrutiny. This year the United States Supreme Court is likely to take up important redistricting cases, including determining the permissible limits of partisan gerrymandering.
With our expert panel, we’ll have an informed, nonpartisan dialogue about the legal, political, practical, and charitable routes toward fairer redistricting. What solutions could work better, and how can funders support a redistricting process that is independent, transparent and ensures that communities are fully and fairly represented locally, at the state level, and in Congress?
You can read more about this issue on our blog where we are hosting a piece by Bay Area Democracy Funders' Steve Cohen.
Cathy Duvall is a consultant focused on strategic outreach around democracy and redistricting issues. Her primary client is the Redistricting Reform Project at New Venture Fund.
Justin Levitt is a professor at Loyola Law School and a former deputy assistant attorney general in the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He is a nationally recognized scholar of constitutional law and the law of democracy.
Connie Malloy is one of 14 members serving on the California Citizens Redistricting Commission and is Portfolio Director with the James Irvine Foundation.
This program is open to members of both Northern California Grantmakers and Bay Area Democracy Funders Group. If you are not an NCG member, contact the Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLEASE NOTE: NCG's office at 160 Spear Street can currently only be accessed through the entrance on the Main Street side of the building. The Spear Street entrance is temporarily closed for construction.