A Legal How-To Guide

Our "2021 Redistricting For Community Empowerment: A Legal How-To Guide" is geared towards community-based organizations interested in engaging in the local redistricting process, but everyone can benefit from reading this guide.

The guide provides fundamental information, including:

  • The rules of redistricting: The guide explains traditional redistricting principles (e.g. contiguity, communities of interest, compactness, etc.), the constitutional mandate that districts must be equal in population and the federal mandate that districts must comply with Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act. It provides an overview of techniques that are used to dilute the political power of racial, ethnic and language minorities, and also goes over the types of districts that can be drawn to empower historically disenfranchised communities.
  • The redistricting process: The guide helpfully breaks down the different processes cities, counties, county boards of education, school districts, community college districts and special districts must or should follow as they engage in redistricting. The guide provides information about map adoption deadlines; new requirements for cities and counties, including public engagement and public hearing requirements; and mapping requirements.
  • Case study on what a court may or may not accept as “compact.”
  • Glossary explaining all those tricky redistricting and census terms.

Throughout the guide, we provide tips about how community organizations can best engage with the decision-making bodies and advocate on behalf of their communities. It's a legal how-to guide so it cites key cases and statutes and explains how different choices may be viewed by courts.

View the GUIDe