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People’s Maps Commission Wraps Up Virtual Hearings PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Wisconsin DOA Communications   
Friday, 26 March 2021 14:55

wi-fair-mapsVirtual live hearings have included more than 1,000 people from 65 counties and 245 municipalities, take less than 6 months. Commissioners move into next phase of map-drawing process.


MADISON—The People’s Maps Commission announced today that it has heard from over 1,000 Wisconsinites representing 65 counties and 245 municipalities since their first virtual hearing on October 1, 2020.

“Over the last six months, we’ve learned a great deal as a commission on redistricting and considerations involved in the process,” said Dr. Christopher Ford, Chairman of the People’s Maps Commission. “Most of our lessons have come from the people of Wisconsin,  who have consistently spoken out about the need for a non-partisan, objective, and transparent approach to the creation of our state’s legislative maps. It is only under these circumstances maps can be drawn that best represent citizens and their communities.”

Committed to transparency throughout the map development process, the hearings held in each of Wisconsin’s eight congressional districts were part of the Commissioners’ first phase of their work. This phase included learning directly from Wisconsinites how they have been impacted by redistricting, as well as ideas from community members on how to achieve fair maps in the state. Recordings of the People’s Maps Commission’s virtual hearings thus far are available HERE.

During the virtual live hearings, the Commissioners also heard from 18 redistricting and voting rights experts from throughout the country and Wisconsin. These experts included:

Peter Barca, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and  former Minority Leader

 

James Hall, Jr., Milwaukee civil rights attorney

 

Sunchin Chheda, Director of the Fair Elections Project

 

Tehassi Hill, Chairman of the Oneida Nation

 

Moon Duchin, Leader of MGGG Redistricting Lab, a research group at Tisch College of Tufts University

 

Eric Holder, Chair of National Democratic Redistricting Committee

 

Norman Eisen, Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institute

 

Michael Li, Senior Counsel for the Brennan Center's Democracy Program

 

Jordan Ellenberg, UW-Madison Election Research Center

 

Rebeca López, Senior Associate at Godfrey & Kahn

 

Sue Ertmer, Winnebago County Clerk

 

Kenneth Mayer, Professor at UW-Madison

 

Katie Fahey, Founder and Executive Director of The People

 

Karen Nelson, Equity and Diversity Coordinator for the Appleton Mayor's Office

 

Keith Gaddie, Voting Rights and Redistricting Expert

 

Katie Rosenberg, Wausau Mayor

 

Ruth Greenwood, Co-Director of Voting Rights and Redistricting at the Campaign Legal Center

 

Robert Yablong, UW-Madison Law School

 

 

More information about the hearings is available HERE.

Following the hearings, the Commissioners will move into the next phase of their work, which includes establishing map drawing criteria and identifying "Communities of Interest" throughout the state. This phase of their work will inform the map drawing process that begins when the synthesized census data becomes available later this summer. More information about this work, as well as additional hearings, will be available in the coming weeks.

“As our name implies, we are genuinely a commission representing the people of Wisconsin,” said Ford. “Working together, we will create maps that will reflect the diverse voices of our state. We will draw maps that honor the votes of average citizens, rather than gerrymander for political gain.”

In the meantime, members of the public continue to be encouraged to engage the Commissioners by submitting:

  • Written comments using the feedback form available on the People’s Maps Commission website HERE. Written comments will be reviewed by the commissioners and are public record.
  • Suggestions on “Communities of Interest” HERE.
  • Map drawing suggestions using Districtr platform HERE.

Selected by a three judge panel, the Commission is a nine-member nonpartisan redistricting commission charged with drawing fair, impartial maps for the state of Wisconsin. More information about the Commission, its members and its activities is available HERE.

Every 10 years, each state redraws their legislative and congressional districts using data from the decennial census. In addition to the data from the 2020 U.S. Census, the Commission will use information gathered during the public hearing process to prepare new maps. It will then be up to the Legislature to take up and approve the maps created by the Commission.

 
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