Making Democracy Work

Redistricting meeting set Tuesday

South Bend Tribune - March 14, 2011

South Bend Tribune Staff Report

SOUTH BEND - The public is invited to a meeting Tuesday night of an 11-member group formed to monitor the 2011 state legislative redistricting process and promote citizen input into the new maps.

The Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission, formed by AARP Indiana, Common Cause/Indiana and the League of Women Voters of Indiana, will meet from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Multimedia Room of the St. Joseph County Public Library, 304 S. Main St.

The meeting will include a short excerpt from the film "Gerrymandering" and a presentation about the redistricting process in Indiana.

Much of the discussion will focus on what communities of interest exist in northern Indiana and how they should be grouped together, or divided, for purposes of political districts, according to a news release.

Citizen input from the South Bend meeting, along with the other seven meetings across the state, will be compiled by the commission and submitted to the Indiana General Assembly for consideration as it develops maps.

The ICRC, which will also draw its own maps, includes two former state legislators, Democrat Dave Crooks and Republican Bill Ruppel, as its co-chairs. It also includes a former Libertarian candidate for secretary of state, a tea party member, the Indiana NAACP, the ICLU and a college student.

Lisa Plencner, president of the League of Women Voters of South Bend Area, urges residents to share their ideas on district lines.

"The 2011 redistricting will have a profound impact on who gets elected, what issues are debated and how they are resolved over the next decade, so it is critical that voters pay close attention and encourage lawmakers to prioritize the public interest, not political interests in the new maps," Plencner said in a news release.

For more information about the ICRC and redistricting in Indiana, go to http://www.drawthelineindiana.org.

Copyright 2011, Southbend Tribune