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Author Topic: Big Redistricting News Out Of PA!  (Read 2386 times)
muon2
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« Reply #50 on: November 22, 2017, 05:16:31 pm »

Holy hell is that a lot of cut counties - I have drawn maps that only cut 6.
No it isn't, only 16 counties were split between two or more congressional districts, and with 3 being larger than a congressional district, that leaves but 13 counties split.
Also, I don't draw my maps with the sole objective of splitting as few counties as possible, I also take into account urban areas, statistical areas, cultural regions, existing districts and many other factors.

Counties are very important as political units, and except in New England probably the most important unit in the US. It is one of the most common items to protect for states that have rules against gerrymandering.
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« Reply #51 on: November 22, 2017, 05:36:00 pm »
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Holy hell is that a lot of cut counties - I have drawn maps that only cut 6.
No it isn't, only 16 counties were split between two or more congressional districts, and with 3 being larger than a congressional district, that leaves but 13 counties split.
Also, I don't draw my maps with the sole objective of splitting as few counties as possible, I also take into account urban areas, statistical areas, cultural regions, existing districts and many other factors.

Counties are very important as political units, and except in New England probably the most important unit in the US. It is one of the most common items to protect for states that have rules against gerrymandering.
Most certainly, I completely agree with you, however, as I said, I don't think the sole metric of a fair redistricting plan is that it splits as few counties as possible, yes that is a key metric, however it shouldn't be the only aim of redistricting.
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muon2
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« Reply #52 on: November 22, 2017, 06:26:21 pm »

Holy hell is that a lot of cut counties - I have drawn maps that only cut 6.
No it isn't, only 16 counties were split between two or more congressional districts, and with 3 being larger than a congressional district, that leaves but 13 counties split.
Also, I don't draw my maps with the sole objective of splitting as few counties as possible, I also take into account urban areas, statistical areas, cultural regions, existing districts and many other factors.

Counties are very important as political units, and except in New England probably the most important unit in the US. It is one of the most common items to protect for states that have rules against gerrymandering.
Most certainly, I completely agree with you, however, as I said, I don't think the sole metric of a fair redistricting plan is that it splits as few counties as possible, yes that is a key metric, however it shouldn't be the only aim of redistricting.

The problem I have observed is that some criteria that sound good actually are quite subjective. These criteria are excellent covers for political gerrymandering. The best way to guarantee fair maps is to stick to measurable criteria.

For instance we developed measurable criteria based on Census stats to define urban metro areas (see the Urban County Cluster sticky thread). I haven't seen a good way to specify an item like cultural areas that isn't open to abuse by subjectivity.
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« Reply #53 on: November 22, 2017, 06:56:41 pm »
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Holy hell is that a lot of cut counties - I have drawn maps that only cut 6.
No it isn't, only 16 counties were split between two or more congressional districts, and with 3 being larger than a congressional district, that leaves but 13 counties split.
Also, I don't draw my maps with the sole objective of splitting as few counties as possible, I also take into account urban areas, statistical areas, cultural regions, existing districts and many other factors.

Counties are very important as political units, and except in New England probably the most important unit in the US. It is one of the most common items to protect for states that have rules against gerrymandering.
Most certainly, I completely agree with you, however, as I said, I don't think the sole metric of a fair redistricting plan is that it splits as few counties as possible, yes that is a key metric, however it shouldn't be the only aim of redistricting.

The problem I have observed is that some criteria that sound good actually are quite subjective. These criteria are excellent covers for political gerrymandering. The best way to guarantee fair maps is to stick to measurable criteria.

For instance we developed measurable criteria based on Census stats to define urban metro areas (see the Urban County Cluster sticky thread). I haven't seen a good way to specify an item like cultural areas that isn't open to abuse by subjectivity.
My approach to redistricting is a British one.
I have for a long time taken a significant interest in British Boundary Reviews and have made multiple submissions to reviews.
The British boundary reviews currently have only one requirement, and that is that constituencies must be within quota, other than that there are no steadfast rules, only guidelines and aims, yet despite this the British system works perfectly well, free of gerrymandering.
In Australia we use the British system. The Redistribution Committee do not aim, when conducting redistributions, to split as few local government areas as physically possible. Their aim is for minimum change, while simultaneously keeping communities of interest together and maintaining compact and logical districts.
There is no gerrymandering in the UK or Australia. In Australia we did have had the Playmander in SA and the Bjelkemander in Queensland, however neither of these were gerrymanders, they were egregious cases of Malapportionment. The electoral districts were not gerrymandered, they were still logical and compact, the problem was that rural districts were far smaller than urban districts, in some cases being only a tenth of the size of the urban districts.
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muon2
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« Reply #54 on: November 22, 2017, 07:00:08 pm »

Holy hell is that a lot of cut counties - I have drawn maps that only cut 6.
No it isn't, only 16 counties were split between two or more congressional districts, and with 3 being larger than a congressional district, that leaves but 13 counties split.
Also, I don't draw my maps with the sole objective of splitting as few counties as possible, I also take into account urban areas, statistical areas, cultural regions, existing districts and many other factors.

Counties are very important as political units, and except in New England probably the most important unit in the US. It is one of the most common items to protect for states that have rules against gerrymandering.
Most certainly, I completely agree with you, however, as I said, I don't think the sole metric of a fair redistricting plan is that it splits as few counties as possible, yes that is a key metric, however it shouldn't be the only aim of redistricting.

The problem I have observed is that some criteria that sound good actually are quite subjective. These criteria are excellent covers for political gerrymandering. The best way to guarantee fair maps is to stick to measurable criteria.

For instance we developed measurable criteria based on Census stats to define urban metro areas (see the Urban County Cluster sticky thread). I haven't seen a good way to specify an item like cultural areas that isn't open to abuse by subjectivity.
My approach to redistricting is a British one.
I have for a long time taken a significant interest in British Boundary Reviews and have made multiple submissions to reviews.
The British boundary reviews currently have only one requirement, and that is that constituencies must be within quota, other than that there are no steadfast rules, only guidelines and aims, yet despite this the British system works perfectly well, free of gerrymandering.
In Australia we use the British system. The Redistribution Committee do not aim, when conducting redistributions, to split as few local government areas as physically possible. Their aim is for minimum change, while simultaneously keeping communities of interest together and maintaining compact and logical districts.
There is no gerrymandering in the UK or Australia. In Australia we did have had the Playmander in SA and the Bjelkemander in Queensland, however neither of these were gerrymanders, they were egregious cases of Malapportionment. The electoral districts were not gerrymandered, they were still logical and compact, the problem was that rural districts were far smaller than urban districts, in some cases being only a tenth of the size of the urban districts.

Unfortunately, even some independent panels in the US have suffered from subjective biases. I'm a fan of the method IA uses where the criteria are well defined in statute and an independent body draws the map based on the criteria.
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« Reply #55 on: November 22, 2017, 07:06:37 pm »
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Holy hell is that a lot of cut counties - I have drawn maps that only cut 6.
No it isn't, only 16 counties were split between two or more congressional districts, and with 3 being larger than a congressional district, that leaves but 13 counties split.
Also, I don't draw my maps with the sole objective of splitting as few counties as possible, I also take into account urban areas, statistical areas, cultural regions, existing districts and many other factors.

Counties are very important as political units, and except in New England probably the most important unit in the US. It is one of the most common items to protect for states that have rules against gerrymandering.
Most certainly, I completely agree with you, however, as I said, I don't think the sole metric of a fair redistricting plan is that it splits as few counties as possible, yes that is a key metric, however it shouldn't be the only aim of redistricting.

The problem I have observed is that some criteria that sound good actually are quite subjective. These criteria are excellent covers for political gerrymandering. The best way to guarantee fair maps is to stick to measurable criteria.

For instance we developed measurable criteria based on Census stats to define urban metro areas (see the Urban County Cluster sticky thread). I haven't seen a good way to specify an item like cultural areas that isn't open to abuse by subjectivity.
My approach to redistricting is a British one.
I have for a long time taken a significant interest in British Boundary Reviews and have made multiple submissions to reviews.
The British boundary reviews currently have only one requirement, and that is that constituencies must be within quota, other than that there are no steadfast rules, only guidelines and aims, yet despite this the British system works perfectly well, free of gerrymandering.
In Australia we use the British system. The Redistribution Committee do not aim, when conducting redistributions, to split as few local government areas as physically possible. Their aim is for minimum change, while simultaneously keeping communities of interest together and maintaining compact and logical districts.
There is no gerrymandering in the UK or Australia. In Australia we did have had the Playmander in SA and the Bjelkemander in Queensland, however neither of these were gerrymanders, they were egregious cases of Malapportionment. The electoral districts were not gerrymandered, they were still logical and compact, the problem was that rural districts were far smaller than urban districts, in some cases being only a tenth of the size of the urban districts.

Unfortunately, even some independent panels in the US have suffered from subjective biases. I'm a fan of the method IA uses where the criteria are well defined in statute and an independent body draws the map based on the criteria.
Iowa is good by American standards but it isn't really that good compared to the rest of the world. In fact it's a great example of my point. The Des Moines urban area is split between all four congressional districts, while if you just split a single county then all of Des Moines could be united in one single congressional district. In the same vein Western Iowa is also split between two districts, when it could easily be united as one.
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« Reply #56 on: November 22, 2017, 07:23:38 pm »
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For instance we developed measurable criteria based on Census stats to define urban metro areas (see the Urban County Cluster sticky thread). I haven't seen a good way to specify an item like cultural areas that isn't open to abuse by subjectivity.

Communities of interest should be identified now for use following the 2020 Census. This would permit objective criteria to be proposed and evaluated. Otherwise you have people playing hocus pocus with the redistricting commission.

Quote from: California Constitution Article XXI, Section 2(d)(4)
(4) The geographic integrity of any city, county, city and county, local neighborhood, or local community of interest shall be respected in a manner that minimizes their division to the extent possible without violating the requirements of any of the preceding subdivisions. A community of interest is a contiguous population which shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of its effective and fair representation. Examples of such shared interests are those common to an urban area, a rural area, an industrial area, or an agricultural area, and those common to areas in which the people  share similar living standards, use the same transportation facilities, have similar work opportunities, or have access to the same media of communication relevant to the election process. Communities of interest shall not include relationships with political parties, incumbents, or political candidates.

Most of the census data that could be used is from the ACS. The Census Bureau will do special tabulations of the ACS for those willing to pay for it. Race or ethnicity is a social interest. I suspect they deliberately avoided it as an example.
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« Reply #57 on: November 22, 2017, 07:47:24 pm »
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For instance we developed measurable criteria based on Census stats to define urban metro areas (see the Urban County Cluster sticky thread). I haven't seen a good way to specify an item like cultural areas that isn't open to abuse by subjectivity.

Communities of interest should be identified now for use following the 2020 Census. This would permit objective criteria to be proposed and evaluated. Otherwise you have people playing hocus pocus with the redistricting commission.

Quote from: California Constitution Article XXI, Section 2(d)(4)
(4) The geographic integrity of any city, county, city and county, local neighborhood, or local community of interest shall be respected in a manner that minimizes their division to the extent possible without violating the requirements of any of the preceding subdivisions. A community of interest is a contiguous population which shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of its effective and fair representation. Examples of such shared interests are those common to an urban area, a rural area, an industrial area, or an agricultural area, and those common to areas in which the people  share similar living standards, use the same transportation facilities, have similar work opportunities, or have access to the same media of communication relevant to the election process. Communities of interest shall not include relationships with political parties, incumbents, or political candidates.

Most of the census data that could be used is from the ACS. The Census Bureau will do special tabulations of the ACS for those willing to pay for it. Race or ethnicity is a social interest. I suspect they deliberately avoided it as an example.
Communities of interest overlap and constantly change. That is why you shouldn't just draw a map and use it just like that. You need to develop a plan, then consult with local communities, then improve or change the plan, then consult again, and so on.

For instance in the UK they develop then publish the Initial Proposals, then there is an Initial Consultation period, with written representations and public hearings, then there is a Secondary Consultation period, with written representations and comments with regards to the written representations and public hearings of the Initial Consultation period, then, using the community input the proposals are then revised, and then published as the Revised Proposals (we are currently here), then there is a Final Consultation period with written representations, and then finally the proposals are further revised and then published as the Final Report which is then brought before Parliament to become law.

Meanwhile in Australia the process is even more thorough, with the timetable being:

Electoral Commission directs commencement of redistribution by way of Notice in the Commonwealth Government Notices Gazette.
Electoral Commissioner determines current enrolment quota Electoral Commission appoints Redistribution Committee.
Production and checking of enrolment projections.
The Electoral Commissioner invites written suggestions to the redistribution from the public.
Suggestions available for public to make written comments on suggestions.
Redistribution Committee considers suggestions and comments on suggestions and develops a set of boundary proposals.
Production of Redistribution Committee’s report and maps showing proposed names and boundaries.
Redistribution Committee publishes and exhibits maps showing proposed boundaries and names and reasons for proposal. Public invited to make written objections to the proposed redistribution.
Objections available for public to make written comments on objections.
Augmented Electoral Commission considers objections and comments on objections. As part of these considerations, a public inquiry into objections may be held.
Announcement of augmented Electoral Commission’s proposed redistribution.
Final determination of names and boundaries of electoral divisions by notice published in the Gazette.
Augmented Electoral Commission’s report tabled in Parliament.
Augmented Electoral Commission’s report is made publicly available.
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« Reply #58 on: November 22, 2017, 09:25:39 pm »

For instance we developed measurable criteria based on Census stats to define urban metro areas (see the Urban County Cluster sticky thread). I haven't seen a good way to specify an item like cultural areas that isn't open to abuse by subjectivity.

Communities of interest should be identified now for use following the 2020 Census. This would permit objective criteria to be proposed and evaluated. Otherwise you have people playing hocus pocus with the redistricting commission.

Quote from: California Constitution Article XXI, Section 2(d)(4)
(4) The geographic integrity of any city, county, city and county, local neighborhood, or local community of interest shall be respected in a manner that minimizes their division to the extent possible without violating the requirements of any of the preceding subdivisions. A community of interest is a contiguous population which shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of its effective and fair representation. Examples of such shared interests are those common to an urban area, a rural area, an industrial area, or an agricultural area, and those common to areas in which the people  share similar living standards, use the same transportation facilities, have similar work opportunities, or have access to the same media of communication relevant to the election process. Communities of interest shall not include relationships with political parties, incumbents, or political candidates.

Most of the census data that could be used is from the ACS. The Census Bureau will do special tabulations of the ACS for those willing to pay for it. Race or ethnicity is a social interest. I suspect they deliberately avoided it as an example.
Communities of interest overlap and constantly change. That is why you shouldn't just draw a map and use it just like that. You need to develop a plan, then consult with local communities, then improve or change the plan, then consult again, and so on.

For instance in the UK they develop then publish the Initial Proposals, then there is an Initial Consultation period, with written representations and public hearings, then there is a Secondary Consultation period, with written representations and comments with regards to the written representations and public hearings of the Initial Consultation period, then, using the community input the proposals are then revised, and then published as the Revised Proposals (we are currently here), then there is a Final Consultation period with written representations, and then finally the proposals are further revised and then published as the Final Report which is then brought before Parliament to become law.

Meanwhile in Australia the process is even more thorough, with the timetable being:

Electoral Commission directs commencement of redistribution by way of Notice in the Commonwealth Government Notices Gazette.
Electoral Commissioner determines current enrolment quota Electoral Commission appoints Redistribution Committee.
Production and checking of enrolment projections.
The Electoral Commissioner invites written suggestions to the redistribution from the public.
Suggestions available for public to make written comments on suggestions.
Redistribution Committee considers suggestions and comments on suggestions and develops a set of boundary proposals.
Production of Redistribution Committee’s report and maps showing proposed names and boundaries.
Redistribution Committee publishes and exhibits maps showing proposed boundaries and names and reasons for proposal. Public invited to make written objections to the proposed redistribution.
Objections available for public to make written comments on objections.
Augmented Electoral Commission considers objections and comments on objections. As part of these considerations, a public inquiry into objections may be held.
Announcement of augmented Electoral Commission’s proposed redistribution.
Final determination of names and boundaries of electoral divisions by notice published in the Gazette.
Augmented Electoral Commission’s report tabled in Parliament.
Augmented Electoral Commission’s report is made publicly available.

As jimrtex notes, the problem has often been identifying standards that justifies a community so as to achieve a political goal. In 2011 I sat though a great deal of public testimony of the kind that the UK and Oz require. I also watched the mapmakers cherry-pick which testimony to give weight, and then see them identify those favored groups.

Communities do change, but redistricting is once a decade at a very well-defined point in time. There's no reason not to quantify the communities  in advance of that set date.
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« Reply #59 on: November 22, 2017, 09:50:41 pm »
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For instance we developed measurable criteria based on Census stats to define urban metro areas (see the Urban County Cluster sticky thread). I haven't seen a good way to specify an item like cultural areas that isn't open to abuse by subjectivity.

Communities of interest should be identified now for use following the 2020 Census. This would permit objective criteria to be proposed and evaluated. Otherwise you have people playing hocus pocus with the redistricting commission.

Quote from: California Constitution Article XXI, Section 2(d)(4)
(4) The geographic integrity of any city, county, city and county, local neighborhood, or local community of interest shall be respected in a manner that minimizes their division to the extent possible without violating the requirements of any of the preceding subdivisions. A community of interest is a contiguous population which shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of its effective and fair representation. Examples of such shared interests are those common to an urban area, a rural area, an industrial area, or an agricultural area, and those common to areas in which the people  share similar living standards, use the same transportation facilities, have similar work opportunities, or have access to the same media of communication relevant to the election process. Communities of interest shall not include relationships with political parties, incumbents, or political candidates.

Most of the census data that could be used is from the ACS. The Census Bureau will do special tabulations of the ACS for those willing to pay for it. Race or ethnicity is a social interest. I suspect they deliberately avoided it as an example.
Communities of interest overlap and constantly change. That is why you shouldn't just draw a map and use it just like that. You need to develop a plan, then consult with local communities, then improve or change the plan, then consult again, and so on.

For instance in the UK they develop then publish the Initial Proposals, then there is an Initial Consultation period, with written representations and public hearings, then there is a Secondary Consultation period, with written representations and comments with regards to the written representations and public hearings of the Initial Consultation period, then, using the community input the proposals are then revised, and then published as the Revised Proposals (we are currently here), then there is a Final Consultation period with written representations, and then finally the proposals are further revised and then published as the Final Report which is then brought before Parliament to become law.

Meanwhile in Australia the process is even more thorough, with the timetable being:

Electoral Commission directs commencement of redistribution by way of Notice in the Commonwealth Government Notices Gazette.
Electoral Commissioner determines current enrolment quota Electoral Commission appoints Redistribution Committee.
Production and checking of enrolment projections.
The Electoral Commissioner invites written suggestions to the redistribution from the public.
Suggestions available for public to make written comments on suggestions.
Redistribution Committee considers suggestions and comments on suggestions and develops a set of boundary proposals.
Production of Redistribution Committee’s report and maps showing proposed names and boundaries.
Redistribution Committee publishes and exhibits maps showing proposed boundaries and names and reasons for proposal. Public invited to make written objections to the proposed redistribution.
Objections available for public to make written comments on objections.
Augmented Electoral Commission considers objections and comments on objections. As part of these considerations, a public inquiry into objections may be held.
Announcement of augmented Electoral Commission’s proposed redistribution.
Final determination of names and boundaries of electoral divisions by notice published in the Gazette.
Augmented Electoral Commission’s report tabled in Parliament.
Augmented Electoral Commission’s report is made publicly available.

As jimrtex notes, the problem has often been identifying standards that justifies a community so as to achieve a political goal. In 2011 I sat though a great deal of public testimony of the kind that the UK and Oz require. I also watched the mapmakers cherry-pick which testimony to give weight, and then see them identify those favored groups.

Communities do change, but redistricting is once a decade at a very well-defined point in time. There's no reason not to quantify the communities  in advance of that set date.
I totally agree with you with regards to your second point. The best mapmakers can do is to use long term communities of interest and, key, using the communities of interest at the time of the redistricting, not the communities of interest from a couple of years ago. The best way to quantify communities of interest is to consult with the local communities. Communities of interest are a societal construct, they cannot be quantified in pure geographical terms, only in opinions.
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« Reply #60 on: November 22, 2017, 10:31:21 pm »
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For instance we developed measurable criteria based on Census stats to define urban metro areas (see the Urban County Cluster sticky thread). I haven't seen a good way to specify an item like cultural areas that isn't open to abuse by subjectivity.

Communities of interest should be identified now for use following the 2020 Census. This would permit objective criteria to be proposed and evaluated. Otherwise you have people playing hocus pocus with the redistricting commission.

Quote from: California Constitution Article XXI, Section 2(d)(4)
(4) The geographic integrity of any city, county, city and county, local neighborhood, or local community of interest shall be respected in a manner that minimizes their division to the extent possible without violating the requirements of any of the preceding subdivisions. A community of interest is a contiguous population which shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of its effective and fair representation. Examples of such shared interests are those common to an urban area, a rural area, an industrial area, or an agricultural area, and those common to areas in which the people  share similar living standards, use the same transportation facilities, have similar work opportunities, or have access to the same media of communication relevant to the election process. Communities of interest shall not include relationships with political parties, incumbents, or political candidates.

Most of the census data that could be used is from the ACS. The Census Bureau will do special tabulations of the ACS for those willing to pay for it. Race or ethnicity is a social interest. I suspect they deliberately avoided it as an example.
Communities of interest overlap and constantly change. That is why you shouldn't just draw a map and use it just like that. You need to develop a plan, then consult with local communities, then improve or change the plan, then consult again, and so on.
Overlapping communities of interest can not be recognized by districts. They are not that constantly changing - or if they are that rapidly changing they shouldn't be used for districts that last 10 years. You used the term "cultural areas" as if it had a specific meaning to you. What does it mean to you.

Quote
For instance in the UK <snip>
the current districts are based on 2000 numbers, and the new districts might not be used until 2022, and even then will be based on 2015 numbers.

If communities of interest (cultural areas?) are to be used, they should be defined during the early stages like now. Otherwise, you will have self-serving representations when the districts are actually being drawn.
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« Reply #61 on: November 22, 2017, 10:40:45 pm »
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Iowa is good by American standards but it isn't really that good compared to the rest of the world. In fact it's a great example of my point. The Des Moines urban area is split between all four congressional districts, while if you just split a single county then all of Des Moines could be united in one single congressional district. In the same vein Western Iowa is also split between two districts, when it could easily be united as one.
"urban area" has a quite specific meaning in the United States census. You may be using some entirely different meaning. What is the name of that county that you believe if it were split would unify Des Moines in a single congressional district.

If western Iowa were in a single district, as it was during the 2000s, what would the other three look like? Some of the others during the 2000s were ugly.
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« Reply #62 on: November 22, 2017, 11:02:41 pm »
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Iowa is good by American standards but it isn't really that good compared to the rest of the world. In fact it's a great example of my point. The Des Moines urban area is split between all four congressional districts, while if you just split a single county then all of Des Moines could be united in one single congressional district. In the same vein Western Iowa is also split between two districts, when it could easily be united as one.
"urban area" has a quite specific meaning in the United States census. You may be using some entirely different meaning. What is the name of that county that you believe if it were split would unify Des Moines in a single congressional district.

If western Iowa were in a single district, as it was during the 2000s, what would the other three look like? Some of the others during the 2000s were ugly.
Because I am to lazy to draw my own this very second I'll just borrow a map from Dailykos:
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« Reply #63 on: November 22, 2017, 11:12:33 pm »
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Iowa is good by American standards but it isn't really that good compared to the rest of the world. In fact it's a great example of my point. The Des Moines urban area is split between all four congressional districts, while if you just split a single county then all of Des Moines could be united in one single congressional district. In the same vein Western Iowa is also split between two districts, when it could easily be united as one.
"urban area" has a quite specific meaning in the United States census. You may be using some entirely different meaning. What is the name of that county that you believe if it were split would unify Des Moines in a single congressional district.

If western Iowa were in a single district, as it was during the 2000s, what would the other three look like? Some of the others during the 2000s were ugly.
Because I am to lazy to draw my own this very second I'll just borrow a map from Dailykos:


Do you know what the PVI and deviation distribution is for this?
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« Reply #64 on: November 22, 2017, 11:18:56 pm »
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Iowa is good by American standards but it isn't really that good compared to the rest of the world. In fact it's a great example of my point. The Des Moines urban area is split between all four congressional districts, while if you just split a single county then all of Des Moines could be united in one single congressional district. In the same vein Western Iowa is also split between two districts, when it could easily be united as one.
"urban area" has a quite specific meaning in the United States census. You may be using some entirely different meaning. What is the name of that county that you believe if it were split would unify Des Moines in a single congressional district.

If western Iowa were in a single district, as it was during the 2000s, what would the other three look like? Some of the others during the 2000s were ugly.
Because I am to lazy to draw my own this very second I'll just borrow a map from Dailykos:


Do you know what the PVI and deviation distribution is for this?
IMPORTANT REMINDER: THIS IS NOT MY MAP - IT IS FROM DAILYKOS
Here are statistics courtesy DailyKos
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« Reply #65 on: November 22, 2017, 11:51:30 pm »

Iowa is good by American standards but it isn't really that good compared to the rest of the world. In fact it's a great example of my point. The Des Moines urban area is split between all four congressional districts, while if you just split a single county then all of Des Moines could be united in one single congressional district. In the same vein Western Iowa is also split between two districts, when it could easily be united as one.
"urban area" has a quite specific meaning in the United States census. You may be using some entirely different meaning. What is the name of that county that you believe if it were split would unify Des Moines in a single congressional district.

If western Iowa were in a single district, as it was during the 2000s, what would the other three look like? Some of the others during the 2000s were ugly.
Because I am to lazy to draw my own this very second I'll just borrow a map from Dailykos:


Unfortunately for DK, IA has a very strict requirement to keep counties whole. The split county in this map does nothing to keep communities of interest whole. It does serve the political agenda of DK by packing the most conservative parts of the state into a single CD. This is what I mean by my concern over the lack of firm criteria; using soft standards invites subtle gerrymandering.
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« Reply #66 on: November 22, 2017, 11:59:13 pm »
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Iowa is good by American standards but it isn't really that good compared to the rest of the world. In fact it's a great example of my point. The Des Moines urban area is split between all four congressional districts, while if you just split a single county then all of Des Moines could be united in one single congressional district. In the same vein Western Iowa is also split between two districts, when it could easily be united as one.
"urban area" has a quite specific meaning in the United States census. You may be using some entirely different meaning. What is the name of that county that you believe if it were split would unify Des Moines in a single congressional district.

If western Iowa were in a single district, as it was during the 2000s, what would the other three look like? Some of the others during the 2000s were ugly.
Because I am to lazy to draw my own this very second I'll just borrow a map from Dailykos:


Unfortunately for DK, IA has a very strict requirement to keep counties whole. The split county in this map does nothing to keep communities of interest whole. It does serve the political agenda of DK by packing the most conservative parts of the state into a single CD. This is what I mean by my concern over the lack of firm criteria; using soft standards invites subtle gerrymandering.

And Iowa has one of the best redistricting processes in the country.
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« Reply #67 on: November 23, 2017, 01:15:55 am »
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Iowa is good by American standards but it isn't really that good compared to the rest of the world. In fact it's a great example of my point. The Des Moines urban area is split between all four congressional districts, while if you just split a single county then all of Des Moines could be united in one single congressional district. In the same vein Western Iowa is also split between two districts, when it could easily be united as one.
"urban area" has a quite specific meaning in the United States census. You may be using some entirely different meaning. What is the name of that county that you believe if it were split would unify Des Moines in a single congressional district.

If western Iowa were in a single district, as it was during the 2000s, what would the other three look like? Some of the others during the 2000s were ugly.
Because I am to lazy to draw my own this very second I'll just borrow a map from Dailykos:


Unfortunately for DK, IA has a very strict requirement to keep counties whole. The split county in this map does nothing to keep communities of interest whole. It does serve the political agenda of DK by packing the most conservative parts of the state into a single CD. This is what I mean by my concern over the lack of firm criteria; using soft standards invites subtle gerrymandering.
Of course this map could never happen without a change of law, however that law should, in my opinion, probably be changed (could you point me to the relevant statute, as I could see a problem in the law. The problem I see is what if one county is larger than a congressional district, of if one county is, lets say 25,000 people too small, yet all of the counties that border it have populations exceeding 50,000. It could, theoretically, happen in the future if Des Moines somehow becomes a thriving metropolis).
I cannot understand how you could think this plan doesn't improve communities of interest. It keeps all of Des Moines together, it keeps all of western Iowa together in one cohesive district.
Although Dailykos definitely decided on this map for political gain, doesn't mean this map isn't an improvement.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2017, 01:21:46 am by AustralianSwingVoter »Logged

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« Reply #68 on: November 23, 2017, 01:33:25 am »
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Iowa is good by American standards but it isn't really that good compared to the rest of the world. In fact it's a great example of my point. The Des Moines urban area is split between all four congressional districts, while if you just split a single county then all of Des Moines could be united in one single congressional district. In the same vein Western Iowa is also split between two districts, when it could easily be united as one.
"urban area" has a quite specific meaning in the United States census. You may be using some entirely different meaning. What is the name of that county that you believe if it were split would unify Des Moines in a single congressional district.

If western Iowa were in a single district, as it was during the 2000s, what would the other three look like? Some of the others during the 2000s were ugly.
By urban area I am referring to three population groupings used by the US census bureau, called "Urban Areas", "Metropolitan Statistical Areas" and "Combined Statistical Areas"
The 2000 redistricting is probably the perfect example of my point. The congressional districts based on the 2000 census did not, in any way take into account compactness or communities of interest, the plan was merely the one with the smallest possible variation between the smallest and largest district, without splitting any counties.

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« Reply #69 on: November 23, 2017, 02:04:00 am »
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I will say again, Iowa has one of the best redistricting processes in the country in that it has no gerrymandering, nor the possibility of such. Any changes better be damn careful not to screw that up.

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« Reply #70 on: November 23, 2017, 02:35:05 am »
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I will say again, Iowa has one of the best redistricting processes in the country in that it has no gerrymandering, nor the possibility of such. Any changes better be damn careful not to screw that up.
Although Iowa does not have gerrymandering, doesn't mean it's districts are particularly good.
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« Reply #71 on: November 23, 2017, 03:39:41 am »
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Iowa is good by American standards but it isn't really that good compared to the rest of the world. In fact it's a great example of my point. The Des Moines urban area is split between all four congressional districts, while if you just split a single county then all of Des Moines could be united in one single congressional district. In the same vein Western Iowa is also split between two districts, when it could easily be united as one.
"urban area" has a quite specific meaning in the United States census. You may be using some entirely different meaning. What is the name of that county that you believe if it were split would unify Des Moines in a single congressional district.

If western Iowa were in a single district, as it was during the 2000s, what would the other three look like? Some of the others during the 2000s were ugly.
Because I am to lazy to draw my own this very second I'll just borrow a map from Dailykos:


Do you know what the PVI and deviation distribution is for this?
IMPORTANT REMINDER: THIS IS NOT MY MAP - IT IS FROM DAILYKOS
Here are statistics courtesy DailyKos

Most of the Des Moines Urbanized Area is in Polk County, with some overlapping into Dallas County, and a toe into Warren County,

Des Moines is very much in the southwestern part Polk County, and favored growth has been to the west, which has been accentuated by the routing of the interstates I-35 and I-80.

The current map includes Polk and Dallas, along with Warren in Madison in a single congressional district, and does not split counties. Ergo, keeping the Des Moines urban area whole does not require splitting counties.
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« Reply #72 on: November 23, 2017, 04:01:25 am »
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Iowa is good by American standards but it isn't really that good compared to the rest of the world. In fact it's a great example of my point. The Des Moines urban area is split between all four congressional districts, while if you just split a single county then all of Des Moines could be united in one single congressional district. In the same vein Western Iowa is also split between two districts, when it could easily be united as one.
"urban area" has a quite specific meaning in the United States census. You may be using some entirely different meaning. What is the name of that county that you believe if it were split would unify Des Moines in a single congressional district.

If western Iowa were in a single district, as it was during the 2000s, what would the other three look like? Some of the others during the 2000s were ugly.
By urban area I am referring to three population groupings used by the US census bureau, called "Urban Areas", "Metropolitan Statistical Areas" and "Combined Statistical Areas"
The 2000 redistricting is probably the perfect example of my point. The congressional districts based on the 2000 census did not, in any way take into account compactness or communities of interest, the plan was merely the one with the smallest possible variation between the smallest and largest district, without splitting any counties.


Iowa uses (or used?, Muon2?) a simple but odd measure of compactness. NS v EW extent. This means that L shaped districts are compact. See the 2000 map, particularly IA-1. IA-2, and I-4. This measure is even exhibited in IA-5, where the eastward drift of the Missouri River is extended along the Missouri border, so as to match the north-south extend of the state.

Why didn't DailyKos include Gurthrie in its IA-3. Is this an oversight? What about Boone?
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« Reply #73 on: November 23, 2017, 05:13:31 am »
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Communities of interest should be identified now for use following the 2020 Census. This would permit objective criteria to be proposed and evaluated. Otherwise you have people playing hocus pocus with the redistricting commission.

Most of the census data that could be used is from the ACS. The Census Bureau will do special tabulations of the ACS for those willing to pay for it. Race or ethnicity is a social interest. I suspect they deliberately avoided it as an example.
Communities of interest overlap and constantly change. That is why you shouldn't just draw a map and use it just like that. You need to develop a plan, then consult with local communities, then improve or change the plan, then consult again, and so on.


As jimrtex notes, the problem has often been identifying standards that justifies a community so as to achieve a political goal. In 2011 I sat though a great deal of public testimony of the kind that the UK and Oz require. I also watched the mapmakers cherry-pick which testimony to give weight, and then see them identify those favored groups.

Communities do change, but redistricting is once a decade at a very well-defined point in time. There's no reason not to quantify the communities  in advance of that set date.
I totally agree with you with regards to your second point. The best mapmakers can do is to use long term communities of interest and, key, using the communities of interest at the time of the redistricting, not the communities of interest from a couple of years ago. The best way to quantify communities of interest is to consult with the local communities. Communities of interest are a societal construct, they cannot be quantified in pure geographical terms, only in opinions.

What do you mean by "local communities"? What do you mean by "societal construct"? How can a community of interest be recognized with a district boundary if it is not geographically delineated?

A city council member might be of the opinion that his district represents his community of interest. People who don't live in the district can not vote for him, so they are not of interest to him. Your ad hoc definition is liable to be politically exploited.
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« Reply #74 on: November 23, 2017, 05:21:55 am »
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Iowa is good by American standards but it isn't really that good compared to the rest of the world. In fact it's a great example of my point. The Des Moines urban area is split between all four congressional districts, while if you just split a single county then all of Des Moines could be united in one single congressional district. In the same vein Western Iowa is also split between two districts, when it could easily be united as one.
"urban area" has a quite specific meaning in the United States census. You may be using some entirely different meaning. What is the name of that county that you believe if it were split would unify Des Moines in a single congressional district.

If western Iowa were in a single district, as it was during the 2000s, what would the other three look like? Some of the others during the 2000s were ugly.
Because I am to lazy to draw my own this very second I'll just borrow a map from Dailykos:


Unfortunately for DK, IA has a very strict requirement to keep counties whole. The split county in this map does nothing to keep communities of interest whole. It does serve the political agenda of DK by packing the most conservative parts of the state into a single CD. This is what I mean by my concern over the lack of firm criteria; using soft standards invites subtle gerrymandering.

Benton County is part of the Cedar Rapids MSA.

I'm not sure what is being advocated in terms of keeping urban areas, MSA's, and CSA's whole.
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