This guide from the Brennan Center provides citizens with the knowledge and tools they need to get involved with this round of redistricting, and to work towards continuing reform in the decades to come.
Legislation to end the practice of prison-based gerrymandering in New York, included within the 2011 state budget, passed both the Senate and Assembly last week. Once Gov. Patterson approves the budget package, the bill will go into effect in time for next year's redistricting efforts.
This Dispatch will outline strategies that include crafting
outreach and education initiatives that integrate city and state
government agencies with grassroots organizations and local media to
ensure 'Hard-to-Count' residents are included in the Census; enacting
state legislation that mandates prisoners are counted in their home
districts rather than in that of their prisons, and proactively
considering principles for redistricting legislative districts that move
beyond uniquely partisan concerns to addressing the needs of district
residents. This Dispatch will also aim to provide some of these
best practices and highlight resources, all with a view toward preparing
states to engage effectively with the 2010 and — looking forward — 2020
This Dispatch will outline the serious problems that counting
prisoners where they are incarcerated, instead of where they lived
before their conviction, has caused for governance at the state and
local level. States around the country
have introduced legislation to determine redistricting for
elections based on the home community of the
incarcerated, a key reform to achieve both democratic results and
economic justice within our states.