As states across the US review their maps and plans for redistricting, advocates against prison gerrymandering are hoping to seize a rare opportunity (happening only once every ten years), to put an end to the unjust and discriminatory practice of prison gerrymandering.
Democrats Abroad has taken a position against prison gerrymandering as detailed in our 2020 platform and made a commitment to advocate against it in a resolution adopted by unanimous consent in May 2021.
Please help elevate this issue and contribute to this advocacy work by finding out where your state stands on prison gerrymandering via Common Cause and ACLU and then calling/writing to your state legislators NOW, and over the next ten days using resist bot. You may wish to use the sample letter below and include detail about why the issue is important to you. Refer to the links in the further reading section below if helpful.
If you vote in one of the 11 to 16 states who have ended prison gerrymandering, please make a special point of thanking your legislators!
Thank you for your activism, and for supporting the push to end prison gerrymandering!
Sample letter to send to your state legislators
Headline: Please Stop Prison Gerrymandering!
Please stop prison gerrymandering within the state of xxxx.
The Census Bureau has supplied data allowing states to make their own determinations on whether to count incarcerated individuals as residents of prisons, or as residents of their pre-incarceration, home communities.
Counting prisoners as residents of prisons artificially inflates the districts housing prisons and deflates the districts of the prisoners home community. This negatively impacts fair representation and local and state democracy.
I urge you to count prisoners as residents in their home community, rather than in prison for the upcoming redistricting process thus stopping prison gerrymandering.
Thank you for all that you do and thank you for representing me.
Prison gerrymandering updates: https://www.prisonersofthecensus.org/news/2021/10/26/state_count/
Article (Mario Jimenez/NM specific): https://rrobserver.com/ending-prison-gerrymandering-makes-a-fairer-nm-map/
Article (Samantha Osaki, ACLU):
Article, The Intercept (Akela Lacy, November 6, 2021) As States Prepare for Redistricting, Prison Gerrymandering Will Skew New Lines https://theintercept.com/2021/11/06/prison-gerrymandering-redistricting-census/