Tag Archives: redistricting

Redistricting Reform – The Latest News

Gerrymandering in Indiana

A redistricting standards bill authored by Senator Greg WalkerSenator Randall HeadSenator Mike Bohacek (Senate Bill 105) , and co-authored by Senator John Ruckelshaus, passed through the Elections Committee on February 4 in a 5-2 vote, meaning it now will move to the Senate floor for consideration. In its current state, the bill would require legislative action at the state and federal levels to ensure that minority voices are represented and at the same time minimize divisions in areas which are likely to share common interests, including neighborhoods and school districts. Deviations from these standards would be required to be disclosed. While Senate Bill 105 establishes redistricting standards which is a good start, it does not specify how the commission is to be comprised. As the Indiana Institute apply points out, “Who is drawing the district maps is just as important as the standards by which the maps are drawn.”  The Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting All in 4 Democracy which Campaign for Hoosier Families is a member, would prefer Senate Bill 91 and House bill 1011 (Senate and House companion) as vehicles for Redistricting Reform since they call for an independent commission to be appointed by the legislative leadership.

by Eli Heindricks, Purdue Political Science student

Redistricting Reform – The Latest News

Gerrymandering in Indiana

A redistricting standards bill authored by Senator Greg WalkerSenator Randall HeadSenator Mike Bohacek (Senate Bill 105) , and co-authored by Senator John Ruckelshaus, passed through the Elections Committee on February 4 in a 5-2 vote, meaning it now will move to the Senate floor for consideration. In its current state, the bill would require legislative action at the state and federal levels to ensure that minority voices are represented and at the same time minimize divisions in areas which are likely to share common interests, including neighborhoods and school districts. Deviations from these standards would be required to be disclosed. While Senate Bill 105 establishes redistricting standards which is a good start, it does not specify how the commission is to be comprised. As the Indiana Institute apply points out, “Who is drawing the district maps is just as important as the standards by which the maps are drawn.”  The Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting All in 4 Democracy which Campaign for Hoosier Families is a member, would prefer Senate Bill 91 and House bill 1011 (Senate and House companion) as vehicles for Redistricting Reform since they call for an independent commission to be appointed by the legislative leadership.

by Eli Heindricks, Purdue Political Science student

Census 2020 Impact on Redistricting

The 2020 census is right around the corner, meaning it’s time to talk about redistricting. After the census, new legislative districts will be drawn. It is already evident coming into this 2019 legislative session that redistricting is on the mind of Indiana’s representatives as several bills dealing with the process are on the docket. Senate Bill 105 will seek to establish standards by which redistricting must follow. Three other bills: Senate Bill 91Senate Bill 37, and House Bill 1011, concern the formation of a redistricting commission. It is important that voters keep their Representatives accountable during this time. The process of drawing new legislative districts needs to be implemented fairly and equally. Gerrymandering to benefit any singular political party should not be given a pass. The integrity of our democratic process must be maintained.

What’s Redistricting & What’s the Big Deal?

Redistricting is a major problem in not just Indiana, but the entire United States of America. What is redistricting? Redistricting is the process in which new state and congressional legislative district boundaries are drawn. Every ten years new district lines are redrawn during the United States census. This is a problem because the 150 state legislators are elected by different political districts. Howard Dean, a man who served as the 79th Governor of Vermont, the Chair of the Democratic National committee, and an American physician, once stated, “So the part of the problem is not just the rhetoric. It’s the fact that we’re so polarized in what we’ve done to each other as parties over the last thirty years in redistricting that it’s very, very hard to overcome your own constituencies and move to the middle.”

So, what is the big deal with this? Redistricting may be used to sway the political outcomes of the elections, making one political party win even if they did not get the popular vote in the entirety of the state. A term we should become very familiar with is gerrymandering. This refers to the manipulation of the district lines in order to change or protect the current political power. Gerrymandering directly affects political power. Because of this, Gerrymandering determines which of the parties control not only Congress, but local and state governments as well. By drawing the lines certain ways, this can reward Republicans and punish Democrats or reward Democrats and punish Republicans. It should also be known that the people deciding where to draw the lines are often times politicians themselves. By deciding which politicians will run against each other and which party the majority of citizens in each district identifies with, politicians are able to strategically plan out who will win each election. Furthermore, the politicians that win will then decide which legislation they would like to push for and which legislation they would like to put on the back burner to collect dust.

Citizen Advocacy Training Coming To West Lafayette


Common Cause Indiana is bringing the popular Citizens Advocacy Training on Redistricting to West Lafayette.

The details are as follows:

WHAT: Citizens Advocacy Training on Redistricting
WHEN: Saturday, July 22 at 1 p.m.
WHERE: Unitarian Universalist Church, 333 Meridian Street, West Lafayette
WHY: It will take a massive outpouring of citizens support and grassroots lobbying to persuade the legislature to end gerrymandering and put citizens in charge of redistricting. Come learn how you can help and gain the information you need to be an effective advocate for fair redistricting.

Space is limited so please RSVP today to Joyce Field at jfield@nlci.com (please include your name and phone number).

CHF Update on State & Congressional Redistricting


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Members of the LUM Campaign for Hoosier Families attended last week’s Indiana State c4hf logoAssembly hearing of the Special Interim Study Committee on Redistricting. The hearing room was packed and included volunteers with Common Cause and the League of Women Voters. There were people standing in the aisles and immediately outside the door watching a video monitor. In the hearing, Indiana State legislators discussed the possibility of forming a redistricting commission to draw district lines in Indiana.

Redistricting determines what district in which your vote counts. Right now, state legislators draw those lines themselves, which leads to districts boundaries drawn to help a legislator secure his or her seat in the next election – also known as gerrymandering. Three separate presentations were made at the meeting by attorney Jim Bopp (best known for his work on Citizen’s United), committee member Tom Sugar, and committee member Ted Boehm, respectively. Bopp came out against redistricting because he believes legislative districts are political policy choices and there is no way to take bias out of it. Sugar, former Bayh staffer and current Lead or Leave advocate, believes “elections are rigged” to let politicians choose who votes for them instead of letting voters choose their legislators. Boehm, former State Supreme court judge, spoke on whether or not the US Supreme Court is likely to rule that political gerrymandering violates the equal protection clause or first amendment.

No decision on the redistricting commission was made.


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Additional Information

  • Special Interim Study Committee on Redistricting — website
  • Special Interim Study Committee on Redistricting – Final Report for 2015, click HERE
  • City of Lafayette – Resolution Concerning Redistricting Reform (PDF), click HERE
  • City of West Lafayette – Resolution in Support of Redistricting Reform (PDF), click HERE
  • CHF Letter to Members of the Tippecanoe County Delegation (PDF), click HERE

CHF is an alliance of faith-based organizations that engages local, state, and federal officials on behalf of low income families and children. You’re invited to join the Campaign for Hoosier Families by taking up your pens and firing up your keyboards — help the PR group reach their goal of 50 new subscribers. Please join the conversation online, sign up to get the CHF alerts and check out the new CHF video.


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If you have any questions or would like additional information about the LUM Campaign for Hoosier Families, please check out the website or email or call Susan Brouillette (sbrouillette@lumserve.org | 765.423.2691)


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Volunteer with the Campaign for Hoosier Families — engage in Legislative Advocacy — Get Started, click HERE.

To review the LUM Bill Watch List, a list of legislation that the LUM Campaign for Hoosier Families is watching, click HERE.


LUM Outreach – Forum on Redistricting


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Forum on Redistricting — Three former state lawmakers, including Joe Micon former state representative & current LUM executive director, participated Sunday in a public forum on redistricting of state lawmakers’ districts and congressional districts.

The event was sponsored by Moral Mondays and the League of Women Voters of Greater Lafayette. It was open to the public and held at the Tippecanoe County Public Library.

Other panelists included former state Representative Sue Scholer and former state Senator Mike Gery. {Pictured above are Mike Gery, Joe Micon, Sue Scholer and Sheila Klinker, current Indiana State Representative.}

Outreach is an important part of the mission of Lafayette Urban Ministry; and members of the LUM professional staff actively seek opportunities to engage with and educate people on a variety of issues. Directors of the various LUM programs are well-informed on social and economic issues and are passionate about helping raise awareness in the local community on critical issues affecting low-income families.