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A website of the Florida House of Representatives' Redistricting Committee and www.floridaredistricting.org

What’s New with Redistricting Meetings and Submitted Plans?

The Florida House of Representatives’ Office of Public Information (OPI) just published their latest OPI Informer, which you can check out below.

It’s almost entirely devoted to the latest information on the Florida redistricting public input meetings, how to get involved, and the submission of redistricting proposals by Florida residents.  This two page document is a great way to quickly learn and spread the word about Florida’s redistricting process. 

To get more updates like this, you can join OPI’s email list at http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/.

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Filed under: MyDistrictBuilder, Public Meetings, Public Participation, , , , , , , ,

Redistricting Outreach Made Simple Via Video

The Florida House of Representatives is using video as a way to market the public input meetings and provide Floridians with a preview of what to expect at these meetings.  Recently, the House even created a new Spanish-language Public Service Advertisement (PSA) for the upcoming meetings in Central Florida. 

You are welcome to use the video links below to include these videos in your redistricting educational and outreach efforts.  Additional video summaries from the remainder of public meetings (July 25-September 1) will be made available via the Public Participation Toolkit at www.floridaredistricting.org and www.youtube.com/MyDistrictBuilder.

Filed under: MyDistrictBuilder, Public Meetings, Public Participation, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Looking Ahead: Florida Redistricting Meetings in Central Florida

For the upcoming July 25-28 public input meetings on redistricting in Lakeland, Wauchula, Wesley Chapel, Orlando and Melbourne, below are links to parking and driving directions, Google Maps for each location, and the RSVP page for each location.  You do not have to RSVP, but it is helpful to ensure that we have adequate resources for those Florida residents who plan to attend.

Note, there are a growing number of resources available via the House Redistricting website, www.floridaredistricting.org, that you can use to get your community involved in Florida’s redistricting process, including the upcoming public meetings.

Public Participation Toolkit – To learn about redistricting, ways to provide your input, and ways to help others get involved.

Plan Explorer – To view the dozen complete or partial proposed maps already submitted by Florida residents via MyDistrictBuilder

Maps and Data – To study the data and maps, before coming to a public meeting or using MyDistrictBuilder.

Social Media: FacebookTwitter and mydistrictbuilder@myfloridahouse.gov Email – To follow the Florida House’s redistricting related activities, and even provide written comment during the public meetings if you cannot attend in person.

Filed under: Data & Code, MyDistrictBuilder, Public Meetings, Public Participation, Timeline, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Redistricting Maps and Suggestions Submitted By Florida Residents To-Date

Below you will find links to the complete and partial redistricting plans submitted to the Florida House of Representatives by Florida residents:

 Complete Congressional Plans:

 Partial Congressional Plans:

 Partial State House Plans:

 Complete State Senate Plan:

 Partial State Senate Plan:

 Written Redistricting Plan Submissions:

Filed under: MyDistrictBuilder, Public Participation, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Public Participation: Where to Begin?

So you’re thinking about attending a public meeting on redistricting, or maybe submitting your redistricting suggestions via MyDistrictBuilder or social media, but you’re not sure where to begin?  How can you express your thoughts about the manner in which your districts should affect the representation of your community in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C. for the next decade?

It seems like  a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.  In fact, it can actually be a fun and creative process, because there are so many ways to tell the story of your community.  Hopefully, the examples below will give you some ideas of how to submit your redistricting ideas to the Florida Legislature.

Submit a Social Media Comment:

  • Just because you can’t make one of the 26 public input meetings in-person does not mean you cannot participate.  You can access meeting webcasts live or replay by clicking here.  What’s more, you can submit your redistricting ideas before, during or after the meetings to our Facebook and Twitter sites, or email us at mydistrictbuilder@myfloridahouse.gov.
  • As an example, click here to see a comment that was submitted via Facebook during the June 20 Tallahassee public meeting.  The comment was a reiteration of a point made by a member of the public who spoke at the meeting, and the comment was actually read aloud at the meeting.

Submit Ideas as a Group:

  • No need to work alone in the complicated process of redistricting.  Check out the most recent set of redistricting plan suggestions at www.floridaredistricting.org‘s Plan Explorer page.  A group of Osceola County residents sent a clear message about what they want for their congressional district with a series of personalized emails, which you can read by clicking here.

Submit a Partial Redistricting Plan:

  • When you use MyDistrictBuilder to submit proposed redistricting plans, you don’t have to submit a complete map of every district in Florida.  If know about one region or even just a couple of counties in Florida, you can submit a partial plan for the State House, State Senate or congressional map. 
  • In a recent example, which you can view by clicking here, a Brevard County resident submitted just four districts for the State House, three in Brevard County, and one split between Brevard and Volusia counties.

Submit Video Testimony:

  • If you’re not sure exactly how to draw a map or find just the right words to author a suggestion, then show us the story of your community.  Capture your story on video, and then either send us the video file or a link to your video to mydistrictbuilder@myfloridahouse.gov.  Please keep your videos to two (2) minutes or less, please make sure we can clearly hear and see the audio and visuals that you are trying to convey, and definitely please keep the videos “family friendly.”  
  • Maybe you could take a video of you and your neighbors talking about how your districts affect your community.  Or maybe you could even show us the geography that you do or don’t want in the district.  Looking for some inspiration, check out the citizen comments in the below video summaries of our recent public meetings.

Filed under: MyDistrictBuilder, Public Meetings, Public Participation, , , , , , , , , ,

Many Ways to Participate in Florida’s Redistricting!

The Florida House’s Office of Public Information just released their latest “OPI Informer,” featuring great suggestions on how to get involved in Florida’s redistricting process.  If you’re looking to get friends, neighbors or your organization involved, this two-page briefing is a great way to introduce them to Florida redistricting.

You can view the latest OPI Informer below or download it by clicking here.

Filed under: MyDistrictBuilder, Public Meetings, Public Participation, , , , , , , ,

The Importance of Public Meetings; Webcasting and Social Media Opportunities

This week, the Florida House and Senate begin the first four of more than two dozen public input meetings on redistricting.  The meetings will allow the public to begin the redistricting conversation, allowing Floridians to share their perspectives on how to draw the lines for Florida’s new state legislative and congressional districts.

The meetings are only one aspect of the public participation process, but they are an important aspect of the process.  Frequently, redistricting authorities (in this case the Florida Legislature) are asked to demonstrate how the public were given an opportunity to offer ideas and comment.

The Brennan Center for Justice, a leading redistricting reform advocate, recommends public comment opportunities before and after maps are produced.  Specifically, they recommend citizens “demand hearings or a public comment period not only before draft maps are produced, but afterward…”

In 2009, one of the principal authors of Florida’s recently adopted constitutional Amendments 5 and 6, former Florida House Speaker Jon Mills, also commented on the virtues of public comment before and after maps are produced.  Mr. Mills wrote that Florida’s new legal standards for redistricting would prevent gerrymandering and preserve minority voting rights by, amongst other things, “The public, the press and non-governmental organizations will have the opportunity to comment before and after the Legislature draws the initial maps…”

For those Floridians at the public meetings, this is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to talk face-to-face with members of the Florida House and Florida Senate about how Florida’s many diverse communities should be represented in the redrawn district maps.

For those Floridians who cannot attend the meetings, there are still many opportunities to watch the meetings and even participate via social media.

First, Florida residents can visit http://www.floridaredistricting.org/media.aspx to watch the live webcast of redistricting meetings, via the Florida Channel.  The calendar of public meetings can be found at www.floridaredistricting.org.

Second, Florida residents can submit their comments via social media.  It is recommended that social media participants clearly identify to which meeting they wish their comments to be directed.  For example, including “#Tallahassee”, “#Pensacola”, “#FortWalton”, or “#PanamaCity” are easily recognizable ways to indicate that a comment is associated with a particular meeting.

Social media comments that are directed to any of the following will be included in the public record of the meeting.  Time permitting, the comments may also be read aloud in the meeting.

But again, the public meetings are only part of the process.  The records from those meetings – videos, podcasts, transcripts and more – will be archived and available via www.floridaredistricting.org.  Along with information submitted via the House’s MyDistrictBuilderTM online district building application and other outreach efforts, the collective input of the public can start, sustain and watch over Florida’s redistricting process.

In fact, today Floridians can visit the resources available via www.floridaredistricting.org’s Blog & Resources page, Plan Explorer, and Meeting Records page to see how the redistricting conversation has already taken shape. 

For example, the Plan Explorer page already includes early redistricting plan ideas submitted by Florida residents.  The Meeting Records page already includes the library of redistricting committee meetings from the 2011 Session.  And the Blog & Resources page contains many articles like this and other resources for Florida residents who wish to gain greater insight and access into the redistricting process.

All told, the Florida redistricting conversation is about to become a dynamic two-way conversation, a massive “crowdsourcing” effort, that will shape the next decade of state and federal elected representation in Florida. 

So we hope to see you at a public meeting soon or hear from you via any of the resources mentioned above!

Filed under: MyDistrictBuilder, Public Meetings, Public Participation, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Are You Ready to Participate in Florida’s Redistricting?

With some additional updates to the Public Participation Toolkit, https://mydistrictbuilder.wordpress.com/participation/, we’re nearly ready for next week’s public meetings in Tallahassee, Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach and Panama City.  You can check out the full meeting calendar here.

The Press Kit for next week’s public input meetings on redistricting is also available at https://mydistrictbuilder.wordpress.com/presskit/.  Many of the materials are similar to what is in the Public Participation Toolkit, but there are also additional reference materials for members of the media who attend the meetings.

Also, we hope you enjoy the new Public Participation cheat sheet flier below – Participate in Florida Redistricting!

Filed under: MyDistrictBuilder, On the Web, Public Meetings, Public Participation, , , , , , , , , ,

Talking About Redistricting and Public Meetings…

This morning House Redistricting Chairman Will Weatherford spoke with The Morning Show’s (100.7 WFLA Tallahassee) Preston Scott and Eric Eggers about redistricting, the upcoming public meetings and MyDistrictBuilder.

You can listen to the audio replay by clicking here.

You can also check out our new public meeting informational flyer below to learn about the meetings and share with others who might want to participate in Florida’s redistricting process.

Filed under: MyDistrictBuilder, Public Meetings, Public Participation, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Updates to MyDistrictBuilder

We released some new features to MyDistrictBuilder this week.  Here’s a tally of what’s new:

  • Building by Places (Cities) – So you want to build districts entire cities at a time?  Now you can!  Previously you could build by County, VTD or Blocks.  You will see the Places was added to the drop-down menu.  Quick suggestion – it is sometimes easier to see Places (city boundary lines) if you change the Bing Maps view from Aerial to Road.

  • Data Grid – You can sort the Data Grid now by column.

  • KMZ files – You can now Save and Open plans in KMZ format.  KMZ is a file format that in the long-run will allow people to view your redistricting plans in multiple types of applications, and it also brings summary-level data along with the file. 
  • Note, when you click on Open System File, you now have a choice of opening Florida’s existing Congress, House and Senate maps in either KMZ or DOJ.
  • KMZ is also a faster option for opening a file.

  • When you go to Open your saved redistricting plans, you will notice that you have a drop-down choice of either KMZ or DOJ.

  • Submit – Yes, there is a Submit button now under the File tab.  No, it doesn’t work yet.  If you are ready to Submit a full or partial redistricting plan, we are ready to accept.  Click Submit, and give us a call at the number that appears.  The button will be fully operational soon.
  • Preferences – There’s now a Preferences tab.  At present there is only one feature there, a District button that allows you to set the ideal population for districts.  This is especially useful is you are going to use MyDistrictBuilder for building local government district boundary lines.  More features to come.
  • Save and Lock – When you Save in the future, if you saved with the Lock on for one or more districts, the Lock is saved.

As always, send us a message at mydistrictbuilder@myfloridahouse.gov if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

Happy Friday!

Filed under: MyDistrictBuilder, Public Participation, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blog & Resources

This Blog and Resource page offers additional insight into the legislative process for Florida's redistricting, a broader array of resources, and additional opportunities to partcipate in the redistricting conversation.

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