Understanding Redistricting

Home Representation Redistricting
Teacher Guide Reapportionment Simulations

Issue: Preserve Communities of Interest:

Districts should be structured so they do not carve up neighborhoods or separate groups of people living in an area that have similar interests. Similar interests are especially important for groups that have always been represented together because of their close geography, social and economic interests such as transportation, culture, or jobs.

Examples of Communities of Interest:

  • A town
  • A county
  • A neighborhood
  • A city
  • An urban area
  • A rural area

For example, a rural area interested in preserving its rural nature might prefer to elect a representative who is opposed to growth initiatives to build up the district. A suburban area with a high tax burden might want to elect a representative who will encourage commercial and industrial growth to increase the tax revenues, thereby relieving some of the tax burden on individuals.

A geographic region with a large number of employees working in a particular industry, such as manufacturing, may form a community of interest because they have a common reliance on their industry prospering in order to protect their jobs. They might elect a representative that would support measures to keep their industry strong and thus protect their jobs.

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