Streams

Gerrymandering

Monday, April 26, 2010

Politicians on either side of the aisle are gearing up for the once-a-decade battle over redistricting. Director Jeff Reichert talks about his new film Gerrymandering, which explores the politics of electoral boundaries.  NYS Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries (D-57), who is interviewed as part of the film, joins the discussion to describe how redistricting plays out in New York.

Guests:

Hakeem Jeffries and Jeff Reichert
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Comments [12]

Rose from Bay Area, CA

Point of correction- I believe the Plaza is still part hotel. It's mixed unit- Hotel/Condo.

Apr. 26 2010 06:35 PM

Pablo--districts have to a equal populations (one man one vote). how could this happen if people voted on which district they would be in?

Apr. 26 2010 10:51 AM

Derek--great question. one that's never talked about!!

Apr. 26 2010 10:48 AM
Heidi from Ft. Greene

What do the speakers think of the relationship (if any) between gerrymandering/redistricting and felon disenfranchisement? As has been featured on this show, disenfranchised individuals are concentrated in and from communities of color in New York City. If districts are redrawn based on racial demographics, what kind of effect might felon disenfranchisement and gerrymandering have on the political power of districts of color?

Apr. 26 2010 10:47 AM
nat from Brooklyn

The most democratically poor type of gerrymandering is basing the state districts off of numbers that include prison populations. Counting people who are not allowed to vote in a district as voters in that district gives more weight to the voters of districts with lots of prisons, but not many actual residents.

Apr. 26 2010 10:43 AM
S from East Village

Good highlight of this issue, but just as redistricting can be hijacked for partisan interests, so can "reform.". Do the filmmakers examine Gov. Schwarzenegger's motives? And do they look at the independent redistricting commissions in Iowa and Arizona?

Apr. 26 2010 10:43 AM
Pablo Mayrgundter from Jersey City

Have district boundaries be voted on.

Every city is split up into blocks already. Have each block able to vote when it's on a border whether it wants to stay in its current district or not. Neighborhoods would then need to coordinate to decide what districts they want be associated with and then vote to move themselves.

When the government doesn't get it right, go back to self-determination.

Apr. 26 2010 10:42 AM
kp from nj

Can the guest address the aspect of gerrymandering that not only locks in the seat for a political party, but tends to push the candidates to the 'fringe' of each party since the only competition for the seat is in the primary (rabid base voters) and not the general election.

Apr. 26 2010 10:41 AM
Derek from 42nd & Lex

Why has the US Congress not expanded its membership since the 1910 census and why did the Congress freeze the membership at 435 in the Reapportionment Act of 1929. The congressional distinct sizes have tripled in population (212,000 to 650,000) while the Congressional House membership has been stagnant at 435. If this is truly a representative government we need to increase the House Membership. This also affects the Electoral College and Presidential elections.
Also the Method of Equal Proportions is a disaster for apportionment and an equal divisor method would be ideal with a fixed number of people per Representative.
Please visit http://www.thirty-thousand.org/ and http://www.publiclaw62-5.org for more information.

Apr. 26 2010 10:39 AM
C. Tennyson from Ridgewood, Queens

There will ALWAYS be gerrymandering so long as there are single-member, first-past-the-post districts. The solution would be to have multi-member districts with representatives elected according to the principles of proportional representation.

Apr. 26 2010 10:38 AM
Jon from NYC

I know that for the Assembly and for the House of Representatives you need to balance districts for population, but why can't districts be drawn by longitude and latitude instead of block-by-block?

My block is surrounded on three sides by a congressional district. and the district I'm in is clumped with neighborhoods that have little-to-nothing in common with my neighborhood...

Apr. 26 2010 10:38 AM

please explain this one. both buffalo and rochester are separated from their metropolitan areas and parts of those cities are put into a sprawling 28th district. doesn't this weaken the power of the voters in those cities while increasing the power of rural voters in the 26th and 29th?

also the 20th 24th & 23rd districts sprawl much. any reason they can't be more compact?

Apr. 26 2010 10:23 AM

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