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Past Event

Toward Public Participation in Redistricting

The drawing of legislative district boundaries is among the most self-interested and least transparent systems in American democratic governance. All too often, formal redistricting authorities maintain their control by imposing high barriers to transparency and to public participation in the process. Reform advocates believe that opening that process to the public could lead to different outcomes and better representation.

On January 20, Brookings hosted a briefing to review how redistricting in the 50 states will unfold in the months ahead and present a number of state-based initiatives designed to increase transparency and public participation in redistricting. Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellows Micah Altman and Michael McDonald unveiled open source mapping software which enables users to create and submit their own plans, based on current census and historical election data, to redistricting authorities and to disseminate them widely. Such alternative public maps could offer viable input to the formal redistricting process.

After each presentation, participants took audience questions.

Learn more about Michael McDonald’s Public Mapping Project »


Session 1: A Status Report on Redistricting in the United States


Clare Dyer

Manager, Mapping and Redistricting Section

Session 2: Redistricting Software Tutorial


Michael P. McDonald

Former Brookings Expert

Associate Professor of Political Science - University of Florida

Session 3: Transparency and Public Participation


Cindi Canary

Director, Illinois Campaign for Political Reform


Derek Cressman

Regional Director of State Operations for Western States

More Information

(202) 797-6105

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