A highlight from Redistricting Battle Heats Up Across the U.S. 2021-09-21

The Takeaway


Of the most important musical tracks ever made. Odd your neighborhood your name a say the in your neighborhood. Stay war the people in your neighborhood. I mean for more than fifty years. The sesame workshop has asked this question as it teaches. Its young viewers about the many different professions trades jobs and gigs the contribute to the vibrant ecosystem of community. So how would you respond to the question. Who are the people in your neighborhood. Are you from chicago southside. It's dark and we're wearing sunglasses erupt. The five oh four. Are you brooklyn born and bred or you straight outta competent. Big part of our identities is rooted in the places where we live and the people who live near us. But there's a community identity that you wehrley here people reference in order to explain who they are congressional district. I can't think of any film where the tough guy gangsta says. Don't mess with me. I'm from nevada's third congressional distract or any country music ballad with an established chorus extolling tennessee's fifth congressional district even the most educated and civic minded among us. Whatever pretty hard time correctly identifying district of our state house or state senate get these political neighborhoods are foundational to so many aspects of our lives depending on the district where you live. Your political voice can be drowned out or can be echoed or amplified right now. We are in the thick of redistricting efforts. Lawmakers across the country are using twenty twenty cents this data to determine the boundaries of your political neighborhood for the next decade and this year it is republicans who stand to gain the most republicans control thirty state legislatures democrats only eighteen and then there are two split and it is in those state legislatures. Were most redistricting happens. Republicans only need to gain five seats to win a majority in the house of representatives in the twenty twenty two midterms and here is republican representative. Ronnie jackson from texas at the faith and freedom conference in june. We have everything working in our favor. Right now we have redistricting coming up in the republicans control most of that process in most the states around the country. That alone should get the majority back. So who are the people in your neighborhood. Well that might be changing a lot. It's a next few months. Here with me is ari berman. Senior reporter at mother jones ari. It's always great to have you here. Eight melissa great to talk to you again and that was one of the more lively. Intros to a discussion about redistricting. You gotta you gotta keep the people eight here with the neighborhood. But honestly i find. And i know that you do because we're nerds on this like deeply interesting and compelling and stressful when i hear jackson say that redistricting alone can get the majority back. That doesn't feel terribly democratic with the little d to me. It doesn't feel terribly democratic because it feels like the election results have already been predetermined before the elections has even begun and virtually every knowledgeable. Political commentator believes that ronnie jackson is right that republicans will be able to gerrymander enough seats to take back the house from that alone no matter what the national environment is. We publish a story at mother jones. A little while ago based on analysis from democratic firm called target smart that found that republicans could pick up anywhere from six to thirteen seats in just four states alone georgia florida north carolina and texas through redistricting so republicans are in major control of this process and by all indications that are going to be very aggressive in terms of the maps that they're going to draw the states help anderson. There's some of those states that you named have additional seats allocated to them. A digital congressional districts and that allocation happened largely because of population change over the last ten years and that population change mostly had to do with the growth of populations that are typically pretty democratic. So how is it that. Republicans are going to benefit from those new seats. That's what that's what gerrymandering is all about. It's about manipulating the data to achieve a certain outcome. And there's a paradox. here the paradoxes. The country is growing because of communities of color the white population actually shrank according to the latest census for the first time since seventeen ninety look at a state like texas ninety. Five percent of the population growth is from communities of color as a result texas gained two congressional seats but everyone expects those seats instead are going to go to white republicans. So you have this paradox. That growth is coming communities of color therefore though seats under fair maps should go to communities of color instead they're going to go to white republicans who are shrinking demographically but increasing. Their numbers politically.

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