1-5-11: Penciling in New Districts
Stephen Colbert wants us to better know our districts–particularly Maryland’s Fightin’ Fourth–but they’re all about to change. The reshaping happens not just on the federal level, for members of Congress, but on the state level as well.
It’s based on the 2010 census information, and data for individual states starts coming out next month. Yesterday, we spoke with economist and demographer Mark Goldstein from the Maryland Department of Planning about how the state has changed demographically over the past 10 years. Based on those changes, the Maryland legislature will have a special session this fall to determine new districts in time for the 2012 primary.
Sheilah talks about the process—and how you can be involved–with Karl Aro, Executive Director of Maryland’s Department of Legislative Services, which aids in the process of redrawing Maryland’s districts.
She also talks to Michael McDonald, associate professor of government and politics at George Mason University and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He’s working to create a free version of mapping software that would allow people to create their own redistricting maps.
The software should be available for YOU to delve into Maryland’s data next month. In the meantime, Michael McDonald recommends checking out A Citizen’s Guide to Redistricting to learn more about how you can shape (literally) the redistricting process.
You can also listen to Karl and Michael talk with Sheilah about some of the details of how to draw districts in Maryland here: