Opinion: Redistricting is vital. Here's how to get involved.
In less than a month the Legislature is scheduled to finalize the redistricting process and Oregon's congressional and legislative districts could take on new boundaries.
What exactly is redistricting? To put it simply, it's a constitutional obligation to rebalance political boundaries based on population from the U.S. Census. The Legislature is choosing who represents which voters.
There are rules to follow for completing this process, and when the rules are ignored it is called gerrymandering. A report highlighted by Axios revealed that Oregon is at a high risk of gerrymandering this year.
What can you do about it? Be part of this year's redistricting process.
The House Redistricting Committee I serve on will soon be hearing from residents across the state during virtual public hearings to receive input from you and your neighbors. We want to know your concerns regarding where to move state Senate and House district boundaries, as well as where to put Oregon's new 6th congressional district.
If you're wondering what's important to consider for redistricting, a variety of criteria that other states use to ensure it's a fair and transparent process can be found here.
Residents of Congressional District 3 can sign up to testify during virtual public hearings on Wednesday, Sept. 8 starting at 5:30 p.m. and Friday, Sept. 10 starting at 1 p.m.
For residents of Congressional District 5, the virtual public hearings will take place Thursday, Sept. 9 starting at 1 p.m. and Monday, Sept. 13 starting at 8 a.m.
If you miss these times, anyone can sign up to testify on Monday, Sept. 13 between 1 and 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 pm.
I encourage everyone to bring their comments and concerns to these public hearings. Your input helps us create more accurate and fair maps. Not only will you have the opportunity to weigh in, but this year you can even draw your own maps using the tool at the state's redistricting website, found here. The deadline to submit maps for consideration is September 7.
I look forward to hearing directly from Oregonians. There is nothing more important than your involvement. For issues related to redistricting or any other topic, do not hesitate to reach out to my office.
To learn more about the redistricting process and sign up to testify, visit the state's redistricting website. To find out which Congressional District you live in, the House of Representative's website has a tool to find your representative.
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