Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Redistricting 101 webinar with State Rep. Paul Mark. We discussed a number of resources which we hope you'll make use of. Here's a few of them:
•The map-drawing resource we used is available free at Districtr.org. It's a free open-source web app. You don't need to start an account or download anything. You can either click through and begin creating a map of your own, or you're welcome to explore the one we demonstrated (https://districtr.org/COI/17044).
A brief rundown of the basic tools on the top right tool bar: Click on the hand to move around the map. Click on the brush to choose a town to add, and click on the eraser to make changes. Click on the magnifying glass and then hover over a town for demographic information on that town. If you need further guidance, they offer tools and training documents on their websitehere.
The purpose of drawing maps yourself, beyond gaining an understanding of its complexity, is to be able to share with our elected officials what we believe a fair map of our district looks like. To do that, be sure to click on the share button on the top right, which will save and generate a link to your map. If you're editing the map linked above, when you share it, that new version will be saved and a new link generated, so edit away!
What ties our communities together? What priorities do we share? Keep those questions in mind when you draw your map, and share your thoughts with your legislators when you share your map with them.
•The State Special Joint Committee on Redistricting maintains a robust webpage that includes the calendar of upcoming public hearings, current and historical district maps, contact info for all committee members, and more: https://malegislature.gov/redistricting.
•Finally, read LWVMA's testimony to the Special Joint Committee on Redistricting here.
The League of Women Voters of Northampton Area invites you to enjoy a self-guided walking tour through Florence to see "She Shapes History," an historical exhibit of the suffrage movement. View the exhibit, on loan from the Berkshire Museum, in storefront windows on Main Street. A perfect setting for the exhibit, the town of Florence provided safe passage along the Underground Railroad, and was home to many African American suffragists, including Sojourner Truth. The exhibit will be on display until May 8—don't miss it!
You can find out more information at the LWV of Northampton Area's website here, or read the MassLive article about the exhibit here.