Letter: Event can help us end gerrymandering

To the editor:

Do you know how our representatives decide voter districts? Most of us have read something about gerrymandering, but the subject can become complicated.

It is the practice of drawing congressional districts so that politicians can pick their voters — and not the other way around. It affects all voters. According to research institutions, advocacy groups and legislators, gerrymandered districts cut across party lines reducing the number of competitive races and interest, and disgruntled citizens, fed up with the often contentious nature of politics, have opted out of voting.

The tools our representatives use to draw our districts have become more sophisticated, resulting in warped maps that prevent many of us from meaningful political representation. It has greatly contributed to the gridlock in government and divide in politics.

We citizens need to be better informed. We all want to see an increase in public engagement, and representatives that better reflect the very people they represent. Until then, the divide and gridlock remains. Indiana has an opportunity to pass redistricting reform legislation.

This is why I am looking forward to attending an event on this non-partisan issue.

“A Public Forum on Redistricting Reform for Indiana” is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 19 in the Napolitan Student Center at Franklin College. Panelists from IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs, IU School of Law and the policy director from Common Cause Indiana will discuss why it matters, what other states have done to take the design of voting districts away from the partisan politicians and answer our questions on what we citizens can do to end gerrymandering.

Dee Johnson