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Independent Redistricting

Is our system working?

How fixing our cities can save us, Clean Missouri fights against gerrymandering, and the 100 million project to get people to vote.

Brett Maney
Sr. Communications Manager
May 14, 2020

Almost 15% of American are unemployed right now. Yesterday, Goldman Sachs released new estimates that predict the unemployment rate could get as high as 25%, rivaling that of the Great Depression. 

It’s enough to make you wonder -- is our system working? 

Here are three things to think about this week. 

  1. Fight back. 

Let’s start by turning our attention to what’s happening in Missouri. In 2018, Clean Missouri led the effort to establish independent redistricting in the state, an effort that would put voters first and effectively end the practice of partisan gerrymandering. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Clean Missouri and the determination of Missourians, the initiative successfully passed: 62% of voters supported the measure. 

But now, lawmakers are attempting to override the will of the voters and claw back the corrupt practice of partisan gerrymandering. This week, they passed a law that would overturn the will of the voters. 

We have to stop them. It’s time Missourians actually had a say in their elections and that people got to choose their politicians, not the other way around. We’ve got quite a fight ahead of us, and we need you involved. 

  1. 100 million people didn’t vote.

In a piece in IVN this week, our own Tyler Fisher breaks down the 100 Million Project from the Knight Foundation that looks at the biggest constituency in America: nonvoters. The majority of Americans didn’t vote in the last election cycle, and the 100 Million Project attempts to examine -- in-depth, seemingly for the first time ever -- who these Americans are and what motivates them. 

“Despite the best efforts of both parties to turnout citizens to the polls, voter apathy remains a well-documented reality of American politics,” Tyler writes. “It’s an especially alarming reality when compared to our peers: of the 32 developed countries in the OECD, the United States ranks 26th in voter turnout amongst eligible citizens.”

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, 71% of nonvoters plan to vote in the upcoming election, a statistic that underscores just how critical this election will be. 

  1. Cities have become the microcosm of inequality.

In a #longread this week from the New York Times, the Editorial Board breaks down the crumbling state of our cities. What were once shining examples of American opportunity and promise have become landmarks of inequality and stagnation. From public transportation to life expectancy, the lives lead by the haves and the have nots have become separate worlds. 

The Editorial Board offers recommendations, however; chief among them is the need to re-integrate our city so that no one can turn a blind eye to the realities the other half face. Integration of schools -- which have become segregated again both economically, and tragically, racially -- is critical

“Shared experience is the foundation of a successful polity,” the board argues, “and it is not a stretch to think that simply educating children in integrated schools would begin to close the divides that have paralyzed our politics and made it impossible to address the problems that are crippling the country.”

Together we can.