Through educational efforts, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund launched a website and campaign geared toward encouraging minority citizens to get involved in their local redistricting processes.
2011 is the year for state legislatures to redraw district lines based upon the 2010 United States Census Bureau totals.
How can our communities participate? How can we ensure that our interests are being heard and represented by our elected officials? How can we ensure that the voting strength of our communities is not weakened? What are the important factors to consider in redistricting?
Kristen Clarke, of the Legal Defense Fund Political Participation Group, stated, “redistricting represents one of the most important events in our democracy. It is critical that African Americans and communities of color play a central role in the redistricting process to ensure that maps are redrawn in ways that reflect the increasing diversity of our nation.” She also noted that “it is important that historically under-represented communities be educated about the process to ensure that they do not have their voting strength diluted.”
African American involvement and state compliance with the Voting Rights Act will be essential to equal representation throughout the 2011 redistricting process.
November’s midterm elections were beneficial to Republicans and conservatives, giving them control of a majority of the nations state legislatures. Every state’s legislature redraws it’s district lines, from school board to congressional districts.
Next year’s redistricting process will determine political representation for years to come.