Anyone who's been paying attention notices that I'm interested in the redistricting process: the unlimited possibilities of the outcome is hypnotizing, and the blatant corruptness of politicians gerrymandering their lines to fit their own needs rather than communities is astonishing. So of course when I saw this, I retweeted it immediately and decided to make it today's 'Of the Day.'
The Center for Electoral Politics at Fordham University and the Public Mapping Project, in an attempt to foster awareness of the new opportunities available to become involved in the redistricting process, have launched the “2012New York Redistricting Project.”
We are challenging teams of students representing New York colleges and universities to design New York State’s congressional and state legislative districts. The mission of the competition is to build public awareness about redistricting in New York and to facilitate hands-on experience in using the available software tools. In teams of 8-10 people, students will produce congressional and state legislative redistricting plans that will be judged upon the following criteria: contiguous; compactness; equal in population; in compliance with the federal Voting Rights Act; encompassing communities of interest; and respectful of existing political subdivisions. An award of $1,000 will be issued to the teams that produce the winning congressional, state assembly, or state senate map, as judged by a panel of redistricting experts.
The University is asking students to put together redistricting maps based on the state Senate, Assembly and/or Congressional seats. The winning team scores a cool grand. While people outside of Fordham can't enter the contest, it looks like anyone can still download their free software and play around with the information and technology for their own fun. Best of luck to the Rams (Though I bet the Jaspers could create better maps!)