Why map your community?

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Mapping your community and identifying its shared interests allows public officials to take your community’s concerns into account during redistricing.

What is

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Every ten years, the United States draws new voting districts. District lines decide who votes for which representatives in local, state, and federal elections.

What is gerrymandering?

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Politicians have been splitting up or packing together communities into voting districts that silence their voices. Mapping your community of interest helps fight gerrymandering.

What is a Community of Interest?

A Community of Interest is a geographic area that shares cultural, historical, or economic interests.

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Your neighborhood
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People you want to choose representatives with
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A local group connected by an interest

Redistricting in your state:

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 Representable.org 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