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Humphrey Institute Hosts Discussion on Reforming the Redistricting Process

Minneapolis, MN (12/01/08) – The Humphrey Institute’s Center for the Study of Politics and Governance hosted a conference today, on reforming the redistricting process. The conference featured a host of panelists who will be instrumental in this process in Minnesota after the 2010 census.

“The shift of population to other states and changing communities within Minnesota will require a significant redrawing of state and federal legislative districts,? said Larry Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance. “The problem is that Minnesota's current system of redistricting does not work. We need a new approach to redistricting. Bold proposals by legislative leaders to develop a fair and balanced process can offer a model for other forward-looking states.?

The redistricting process varies by state and can seem complicated to average citizens. In Minnesota, the state legislature draws the lines for Minnesota House and Senate districts. With the time to re-draw these lines rapidly approaching, leaders and citizens have questions about how the process will work, whether Minnesota will lose a Congressional seat due to declining population, and what we can learn from how other states draw legislative districts.

This conference, titled “Toward More Open Government: Reforming the Redistricting Process,? consisted of three sessions:

Fixing a Broken System -- Why Redistricting Reform?, featuring State Demographer Tom Gillaspy, State Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller, representatives of the Minnesota Republican House and Senate Caucus, and Humphrey Institute Professor Larry Jacobs.

Redistricting Reforms Around the Country: What Minnesota Can Learn From Other States, featuring Michael McDonald of George Mason University, Speaker of the Minnesota House Margaret Anderson-Kelliher, Senator Ann Rest, and Keesha Gaskins, executive director of the League of Women Voters in Minnesota.

Competition and Minority Representation, featuring John Griffin of the University of Notre Dame and Marcia Avner, public policy director for the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.

The Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs’ Center for the Study of Politics and Governance (CSPG) develops practical, independent, and non-partisan solutions to pressing political and policy challenges. Founded in 2005, CSPG fosters effective and efficient governance, increases the transparency of government processes, and rebuilds the public trust in order to counteract negative influences that threaten our democracy.

Related:

Press Release

Minnesota Public Radio: "Will Minnesota Lost a Seat in Congress?"

Associated Press, "Minnesota Lawmakers Look Ahead at 2010 Redistricting"

WCCO TV, "Good to know: MN Losing a Seat in Congress?"

Minnesota Daily, "State may lose a Congressional Seat by 2011"

Pioneer Press, "State risks losing U.S. House seat"

Minnesota Public Radio's Midday, "Redrawing political lines"

Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs