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MAPPING AMERICA One community at a time.
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Your Community

by identifying shared interests and community needs.

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Draw a
Community Map

by choosing units that make up your community.

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Your Map

as public input for map makers to use when drawing new voting districts.

VA Community Mapping Drive

Organized by OneVirginia2021 in VA

For the first time ever, Virginia legislative districts are going to be drawn by the 16-member Virginia Redistricting Commission. These 8 citizens and 8 legislators come from many different communities, but they may not know your community specifically-- that's why we need you! The commission is legally required to draw maps that preserve “communities of interest" (COIs), which are described as "geographically defined groups of people living in an area who share similar social, cultural, and economic interests". To ensure your community is recognized during the redistricting process, add your map to our map drive!

This organization has partnered with Representable to allow people to draw communities of interest and share information about the interests and needs in those communities.

Making this information available encourages mapmakers to take these communities into account during redistricting, in order to avoid gerrymandering and the “packing and cracking” of marginalized groups.

Redistricting News

In March 2020, the Virginia General Assembly approved a constitutional amendment which creates a bipartisan commission to draw new district maps. Virginians passed this amendment with 66% of the vote in November of 2020. As a result, Virginia's maps will be drawn by a 16-member bipartisan commission composed of 8 legislators and 8 citizens. Thanks to the passage of legislation providing for redistricting criteria, communities of interest are now a legal requirement for new maps in 2021.

How Can Help

Representable will help you tell the Commission or General Assembly about your Community and visualize a map of its boundaries. Then, the Commission or General Assembly can fairly consider your Community when it draws new voting district lines.

The Virginia consitutional amendment adopted two criteria:

  1. Districts need to be drawn in accordance with "the requirements of federal and state laws that address racial and ethnic fairness federal and state laws that address racial and ethnic fairness," including the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and provisions of the Voting Rights Act.”
  2. Districts need to "provide, where practicable, opportunities for racial and ethnic communities to elect candidates of their choice." This language provides state-level protections for minority communities during the redistricting process, even if the federal VRA or SB717 (discussed below) are invalidated or repealed.

The Virginia General Assembly passed bills (SB717/HB1255) during the 2020 legislative session to establish the following criteria. These criteria must be followed by the Commission, in addition to the proposed criteria:

  1. Equal population;
  2. Adhering to federal and state requirements, including those involving questions of racial and ethnic fairness;
  3. No denial or abridgment of the rights of citizens to vote, participate in the political process, or elect representatives of their choice on the basis of race, color, or language group (as shown by packing or cracking);
  4. Providing racial and language minorities with equal opportunity to participate in the political process and not diluting or diminishing their ability to elect candidates of their choice;
  5. Preserving communities of interest, as defined below;
  6. Contiguous territory, which does not include connections upstream or downriver;
  7. Compact territory based on numerical measures;
  8. Does not unduly favor or disfavor any political party on a statewide basis;
  9. Ending prison gerrymandering by counting incarcerated persons at their last-known residences rather than their current location of incarceration

In the redistricting process, Virginia requires the consideration of communities of interest (COIs). A Community is defined as a neighborhood or a geographically defined population that shares social, cultural, or economic interests. Communities do not include those based on party affiliation or based on shared relationships with political parties, incumbents, or political candidates.

See community maps drawn in Virginia