Fordham’s Center for Electoral Politics and Democracy will launch the “2012 New York Redistricting Project” on Wednesday, Oct. 5, with a panel and workshop at the Lincoln Center campus.
The initiative, a collaboration between Fordham’s Costas Panagopoulos, Ph.D., George Mason University’s Michael McDonald, Ph.D., and Harvard University’s Micah Altman, Ph.D., is designed to raise awareness about the 2012 redistricting cycle taking place in New York state and to encourage citizens to get involved in the process.
It’s supported by a grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and includes a series of six workshops scheduled throughout the state where experts will discuss key elements and issues related to redistricting.
Each discussion will be followed by a hands-on demonstration of “District Builder,” a free, user-friendly software platform developed by McDonald and Altman that enables citizens to design districts and to submit these to legislators for consideration.
The project also includes a student competition to encourage teams of students working with a faculty mentor to submit Congressional and state legislative maps for consideration. A panel of experts will award three, first place prizes of $1,000 for each level of office (Congress, State Senate and State Assembly).
“For far too long, ordinary citizens have been left out of the decennial redistricting process, and back-room deals have often led to heavily gerrymandered districts that compromise democracy and representation,” said Panagopoulos, director of the Redistricting Project and Fordham’s Center for Electoral Politics and Democracy.
“This year, all of that is about to change. It has never been easier to get involved in the redistricting process,” added Panagopoulos. “We’re partnering with institutions across the state and going on the road to show New Yorkers exactly how to do that.”
Panelists for “Redistricting New York 2012: Issues and Controversies,” will include:
Costas Panagopoulos, Ph.D., Fordham University
Michael McDonald, Ph.D., George Mason University
Nathaniel Persily, J.D., Ph.D., Columbia University Law School
Michael Halberstam, Ph.D., S.U.N.Y Buffalo Law School
Wednesday, Oct. 5
3 p.m. Panel Discussion
5 p.m. Public Mapping Software Demonstration
7 p.m. Reception
12th Floor Lounge
Lincoln Center Campus