Only have 5 minutes to ACT? We’ve got something for you!
- Join the fight for #FairMaps by Signing Our Support Pledge: https://www.lwvmd.org/mevc_support_pledge And Share it with a friend!
- On Twitter? Use, #Redistricting, #FairMaps, or #Gerrymandering when sharing posts. Add your state, community, and friends to the conversation by tagging them. It’s as simple as adding hashtag and a name (for example, @LWVMD).
- On Instagram? Take pictures of your meetings, events and forums and post them!
- On Facebook? Use Facebook Live to host conversations. Encourage active participation by taking questions from your online audience. Don’t forget to tag us - we’ll share your event! @LWVMD
- Send your legislator a brief email or social media message advocating for fair districts and an end to political gridlock
In 10 minutes, you can do Something Great!
- Write a letter to the editor or op-ed for your local newspaper. Download our template letter to get you started (example in this folder)!
- Contact your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative and your local and state representatives and tell them redistricting reform is a PRIORITY. Simply pick up the phone and give them a call. It’s that easy! Inspire your friends to do the same. Thinking they don’t listen - they do! Every call is tallied - the more calls the more attention it will get! Use this tool to find out who they are, and how to reach them: mdelect.net
--> Not sure what to say? Here is a brief script you can use:
I urge you to support redistricting reform. Specifically, I urge you to support an independent commission to draw district lines through a process that uses objective criteria. Legislators and political parties should not be allowed to draw their own district lines. I believe that, in so doing, politics becomes more divided, special interests get more influence, and my vote matters less. An independent commission will give legitimacy to the process and ensure all voters are represented fairly. I urge you to support redistricting reform.
- Question candidates and elected officials on Facebook (visit www.facebook.com/townhall to get connected to your officials), on Twitter (you’d be surprised how responsive they are here!), in the newspaper, at a candidate forum, at a town hall meeting about their experience running in a district that is noncompetitive due to gerrymandering. Ask if they support redistricting reform and what their plan is to stop gerrymandering. (Check out our sample questions!)
- Meet your elected officials. Make appointments and visit their offices. Discuss ideas to improve representation within each district in your state. Invite your friends and carpool!
With 30 or more minutes, you will be a Defender of Democracy!
- Communicate with your elected officials often: Visit, email, call. Build professional relationships between your elected officials and you and the League. Keep redistricting reform a part of the discussion.
- Share your officeholders’ district office phone numbers and email addresses throughout your community. Encourage the public to get engaged. Share this ACTION Kit!
- Host a social gathering to bring friends together to talk about gerrymandering and voter suppression. Ask your friends to host future social events. Get organized.
- Organize friends and family to make weekly calls to legislators about the importance of fair districts and ending gerrymandering. Use the script above to get your group primed for their first calls.
Got a few days to plan? Stretch your advocacy muscle.
- Host a Q&A table at a public event. LWVMD will help you plan! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Interview former and current candidates about their experience connecting to voters and representing their interests. Afterwards, share your interview observations with your League or discussion group to determine how to get elected officials to work on redistricting reform.
- Organize a day with friends and/or family and coordinate a calling party. Use the script above and the “reform options” listed below. Tell your elected officials you want fair districts and less gridlock.
- Host a letter writing campaign aimed at elected representatives letting them know how redistricting and democracy reforms are a priority to you. Use our discussion questions in the Talk about it section above, to get your group primed for writing.
- Schedule a series of meetings with your candidates and/or elected representatives—local, state, and national.
Start with an ACTION list. Advocate for these reforms!
Options for Redistricting Reform (Read top down for most effective!)
- Independent Citizen Redistricting Commission
- Nonpartisan body of Civil Servants with the criteria set by statute
- A balanced Multi-Partisan Commission
- Legislative Redistricting with the public’s input and transparency throughout the process, and with Judicial approval
LWVMD sees the recommendations of the Governor’s Redistricting Reform Commission as a gold standard option for reform - for comprehensive details visit - https://governor.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Final-Redistricting.pdf
Citizens First! Criteria for Involving Citizens in the Redistricting Process
- Public hearings with sufficient notice
- All meetings open to the public
- All records made open and accessible to the public
- Computers and other technology available to the public
Draw Fair Districts! Criteria for District Boundaries
- Develop reasonably equal populations in the districts for each type of elected official
- Comply with the federal Voting Rights Act
- Disregard consideration of political parties, incumbents or political candidates
- Maintain geographical compactness of districts
- Maintain entire cities, counties, neighborhoods and communities of interest in single districts to the extent possible