Monday, October 24, 2011

Redistricting lawsuits, online mapping, and anger over gerrymandering

Google news for the two words "redistricting" and "lawsuits" and you will get well over 400 news articles within the past month. Those numbers will grow in the months to come. Why not? As many as 85% of all legislative elections are accurately predicted before voters vote based on how well legislators have selected their voters in the redistricting process. Computers make gerrymandering a frighteningly exact science.

But a change is comming. Google the two words "redistricting" and "software" and one of the first hits is "Playing offense on redistricting,"written by Paul McMorrow in Commonwealth Magazine and published 10-21-11. He writes of the power of the increasingly public and online re-mapping software that is allowing citizens to have the same data and map-making power available to them that legislators have available.

He calmly wrote that "because the Legislature is working with the same data that's available to every state resident, there's no reason that residents can't just take over redistricting themselves."

Let's repeat the last half of that sentence and listen carefully: "there's no reason that residents can't just take over redistricting themselves."

That takeover will happen.  It will be fueled by the anger that will explode as more and more citizens understand how the immense power of redistricting has been abused for generations. The anger will spread as people better understand how 85% of congressional elections can be decided, before any voting, with computer-empowered gerrymandering. They will see how well designed, compact districts can restore legislative accountability and true democracy to our nation. They will demand it! They will demand an end to gerrymandering!

Our rather small problems in Dallas, with 43.5 miles long city council district boundaries when 30 miles boundaries would be enough, are certainly small relative to the horrendous legislative gerrymandering that was inflicted again on Texas legislative districts with the legislatively approved plan. Watch what happens in 2021 as citizens have the same power as legislators by going online to manipulate these districts and immediately see the results. Any legislator standing in the way better have his/her retirement planned. 

That majority of citizens who testified for compact districts in 2011, and were ignored, will have more weapons, more anger, more determination, and more allies in 2021!

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