What is redistricting?
Every ten years after the US Census is completed ever level of government draws new lines to ensure that people are equally represented in Congress, state legislatures, city and county councils, and even in local municipalities. Sometimes the mapmakers draw districts that they prefer, rather than ones that properly represent the people in their communities.
Why is redistricting important to LGBTQ people?
The LGBTQ community has specific health, employment, safety, and other needs that go unaddressed; a history of discrimination; decades of overt or subtle appeals to gender or sexual orientation when members of the community run for office. Because we have a history of not being accounted for and actively discriminated against, sometimes our voices are purposely ignored or divided in making electoral districts. Because we have no formal rights under federal law, we must step up and advocate to ensure they consider or community so we can be better accounted for and represented (and maybe even lead to more LGBTQ people being elected!)
How can I make sure LGBTQ people are part of the redistricting process?
Firstly, find out what the process is in your area – then make sure they hear your voice! Write letters to ensure mapmakers hear our voices and then help make maps that showcase the areas you know are important to the community and should BELONG TOGETHER. Our toolkit [PDF] outlines the ways you can help and our additional resources page has even more!
Can I draw maps to present to my local redistricting authorities?
Yes! Use our mapping tools to find your local jurisdictions and start mapping out the LGBTQ community where you live!
Don’t see your state listed? That doesn’t mean you can’t advocate for LGBTQ inclusion in redistricting in your community. Get in touch with us.