Gerrymandering, Cities and Economic Growth

Cities are the key to Economic Growth
Brenton Mock has a must-read article in The Atlantic’s CityLab exploring how state-level gerrymandering consistently short-changes the priorities of people who live in cities. It is an important point, but while we worry about the unfairness of it all, we might also pause to worry about how this might be hampering America’s economic growth. Continue reading

Posted in Illinois, Ohio, Politics of Redistricting, Proportional Representation, Texas | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Barack Obama and Eric Holder take on Gerrymandering

Barack Obama and Eric Holder focus on gerrymanderingOne of the intriguing sub-themes to emerge from the 2016 elections is the news, first reported by Politico, that President Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder intend to focus their future political efforts on a broad-based Democratic Party program to right the perceived wrongs of Republican Congressional gerrymandering. The donors have been lined up, Super PACs are taking shape, and some new web sites have been soft-launched that highlight the evils of gerrymandering. It’s early days, but the signs point to this being a missed opportunity for American governance. Continue reading

Posted in National Democratic Redistricting Committee, NDRC, Obama, Politics of Redistricting | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

How could anyone say that? Here's how…


Robert Pittenger’s 9th Congressional district, drawn to skirt the urban core of Charlotte. The area of the police shooting and rioting is shown in red.

Asked by the BBC today why there was unrest in Charlotte after the police shooting of Keith L. Scott last Tuesday, Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger said…

 “The grieving in their mind is the animus, the anger. They hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not.” Continue reading

Posted in minority rights, Politics of Redistricting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Gerrymandering causes Global Warming

Lamar Smith Gerrymander Climate Change

The portrait of Lamar Smith that really matters

I could post a picture of Lamar Smith, the Republican chair of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, but suffice it to say he’s an old white guy with glasses. Since that also describes me, I prefer to believe that tells you little about the person and so I’ll post the portrait of Smith’s congressional district in Texas instead, whose contorted shape tells you most of what you need to know. Continue reading

Posted in Politics of Redistricting, Texas | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

How do we get rid of Gerrymandering?

What to do about Gerrymandering?A new follower of this blog from Texas wrote me recently asking what he could do to help get rid of Gerrymandering. It is a really good question- one that I wish I could answer better. But let me take a stab at it…. Continue reading

Posted in Brennan Center, Brian Olson, Politics of Redistricting, Proportional Representation | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Gerrymandering results in dismal turnouts – Richmond Times-Dispatch

depressy face free for comml useVery persuasive Richmond Times-Dispatch editorial with examples from Virginia’s experience that gerrymandering leads to a vicious cycle of low voter turnout and congressional races that are uncontested even at the party level. This is a good, quick read…

Gerrymandering results in dismal turnouts

Posted in minority rights, Politics of Redistricting, Virginia | 1 Comment

Can single-member districts ever be truly fair?

red and blue smily and frownyRecently I’ve been challenged in a very forceful but thoughtful way by a WordPress user who uses the handle realrepresentation. This reader advocates Proportional Representation as the system the United States should use to select its delegates to the House of Representatives.

I lived in Germany for a couple of years and watched a variant of proportional representation in action there, and I have to say I was impressed Continue reading

Posted in Boundary mathematics, minority rights, Pennsylvania, Politics of Redistricting, Proportional Representation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

You've Been Gerrymandered

Just to demonstrate that gerrymandering slices both ways…

Posted in maryland, Politics of Redistricting, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Samantha Bee discovers Gerrymandering in Austin, Texas

DailyShow screen grab Samantha BeeLove Samantha Bee! And wouldn’t want to contemplate life without The Daily Show.

This isn’t one of her/their best (in general the Daily Show seems to be weakly pandering to Austin’s self-conscious hipster-ism) but it does bring out the absurdity of redistricting in the Lone (Red) Star State. But check it out…

The Daily Show 2014- South by South Mess: Austin’s Real Weirdness

And if you want some details behind what they’re talking about, check out these previous posts…

LLoyd Doggett and the Winnebago District (this is the guy Samantha says looks like he could fire your father)

Hands-Off Redistricting and Minority Voices

Posted in minority rights, Politics of Redistricting, Texas | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Economist Swings and Misses on Redistricting

SWING AND A MISSThe Economist squandered precious public attention on the issue of gerrymandering in this week’s edition by bringing it up in a major article (subscription required), and then sloppily dismissing it. The venerable rag’s parting advice to Americans is to stop being so partisan yourselves, and just live with it until one party controls both the legislature and the presidency so something will finally get done. (“Something” is left undefined.)

Where to begin? Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments