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

Recapping the October 3rd Redistricting Subcommittees

Monday, October 3, the Florida House’s redistricting subcommittees concluded their review of public input from this summer’s 26 community meetings.  Additionally, the subcommittees paid special focus to complete maps received from Florida residents (through map 0068), regarding proposed boundary lines for Florida’s new state legislative and congressional districts. 

Check out the “Summary Stats and Comparisons, by Map, for Completed Public Maps 0001-0068” at www.floridaredistricting.org to see how the public submissions stack up against each other.

The members of each redistricting subcommittee – Congressional, House and Senate – then set their course on how to mesh public input and legal considerations into at least three complete options for their respective maps.  Each subcommittee narrowed their focus as follows…

Congressional Redistricting Subcommittee:

  • Options for urban communities and the subsequent impacts on rural communities;
  • Options for high growth communities;
  • Options for minority communities; and
  • Options for starting the maps in Central Florida.

House Redistricting Subcommittee:

  • Options for major population centers;
  • Tradeoffs between whole counties versus cross-jurisdictional communities; and
  • Options for racial and language minority communities.

Senate Redistricting Subcommittee:

  • Comparisons of the potential big picture themes for each region; and
  • Options for minority communities.

The House’s redistricting subcommittees will next meet October 17.  For the videos, podcasts and more from this week’s and prior meetings, visit the “Meeting Records” button at www.floridaredistricting.org.

Looking for a Little Light Reading?

The public input summaries from the September 19 and October 3 meetings can be found under “Legislative Headlines” at www.floridaredistricting.org, and they are linked below for your convenience:

Filed under: Committee 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, , , , , , , , , ,

Updates to www.floridaredistricting.org coming soon!

Over the next week or so we will be implementing some changes to www.floridaredistricting.org.  With the launch of our Blog & Resources page, www.floridaredistricting.org is taking on a more simplified role as a front page for an entire universe of information about Florida redistricting.

So what purposes will www.floridaredistricting.org serve in the near future?

  • As we’re about to begin public input meetings on redistricting throughout Florida, www.floridaredistricting.org will provide updates and access to scheduling information.
  • The site will remain the best access point to MyDistrictBuilder.
  • The site will provide public outreach, participation and educational materials.
  • The site will provide introductions to the legal and legislative sides of redistricting.
  • The site will offer insight into MyDistrictBuilder, including user help and support.

Beyond the content at www.floridaredistricting.org, the site will continue to serve as a gateway to an expanding universe of information, including social media, this blog and resources, legislative archives, and eventually access to the plans and suggestions submitted by Floridians.

For example, as a visitor to our Plan Explorer page, you will be able to search and review redistricting plans and ideas submitted by other Floridians – blog, share, and use as a foundation for your own input.  You will be able to take the redistricting plans and load them into MyDistrictBuilder, so that you can edit them, and resubmit them with your own twist on someone else’s idea.

Crowdsourcing – Florida redistricting style!

In the meantime, many of our resource links have moved here – to the Blog & Resources page.  The resources on the right side of the page are geared towards what you might want for drawing or analyzing redistricting plans.  The resources in the middle are focused on news and big picture items – why, what, how, etc.

As our pages evolve, if you lose track of a favorite link or a resource, just email us at mydistrictbuilder@myfloridahouse.gov.  And as always, feel free to let us know if you have any other questions or comments.

Happy Almost Friday!

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

Redistricting Public Meetings Announced

Friday, May 6, 2011 – The House Redistricting Committee and Senate Committee on Reapportionment held a joint committee meeting on the House Chamber Floor.  The meeting served as an announcement of the scheduled dates for public meetings on redistricting – to be held this summer – throughout Florida.  Click here for video highlights.

The public meetings will serve as one of the primary tools for Florida’s diverse communities to present their suggestions for Florida’s new state legislative and congressional district boundary lines. 

Today’s announcement highlighted meetings from June 20-22 in Tallahassee, Milton, Fort Walton, and Panama City – and – meetings from July 11-13 in Jacksonville, St. Augustine, Daytona Beach, The Villages and Gainesville.  Additionally, meetings will soon be announced for Central Florida (July 25-28), Southeast Florida (tentatively August 15-18) and Southwest Florida (tentatively August 29-September 1).  Click here to watch the full meeting.

As meeting information is updated, www.floridaredistricting.org will always contain the latest and greatest calendar news. Read the rest of this entry »

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

Special Amendment Deadlines and Procedures Approved

***Update from a previous story…***

The Florida House of Representatives approved special amendment deadlines and procedures for amendments to redistricting plans in committees.  The amendment deadlines and procedures were approved by unanimous voice vote on the Floor of the House. 

For more information about the special amendment deadlines and procedures, see below, or visit the previous story at: https://mydistrictbuilder.wordpress.com/2011/04/16/proposed-special-amendment-deadlines-and-procedures/

Filed under: Public Meetings, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Proposed Special Amendment Deadlines and Procedures

Friday, April 15 – The Florida House of Representatives’ Rules & Calendar Committee approved proposed special amendment deadlines and procedures for amendments to redistricting plans in committees.  The amendment deadlines and procedures were approved by unanimous voice vote of the Members of the Rules & Calendar Committee.  The proposal must now be approved by the full House on April 20.

The committee-level deadlines and procedures for redistricting amendments (see below) will require amendments to redistricting plans to be submitted by noon, three business days prior to consideration.  Substitute Amendments must be filed by noon, two business days prior to consideration. 

The ability to enact special amendment deadlines and procedures is necessary for highly technical issues like appropriations and redistricting, giving Members and staff time to prepare all the necessary information for consideration of the amendments, giving Members dedicated time to submit substitute amendments, and affording both the Members and the Public adequate time to review and react. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Public Meetings, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Speaker Cannon’s Update on Committee Appointments

From an April 15, 2011 memorandum to all Members of the Florida House of Representatives, title “Update on Appointments…

…”The Redistricting Committee, the House Redistricting Subcommittee, the Senate Redistricting Subcommittee and the Congressional Redistricting Subcommittee will have their first meetings on Wednesday and Thursday of next week.  The vice chair of the Redistricting Committee, the chairs and vice chairs of the subcommittees, and the membership of the committee and the subcommittees will be announced by Monday, April 18.”

Filed under: Public Meetings, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Florida House Calendars First Redistricting Committee Meetings

April 13 – The Florida House of Representatives released its Calendar for Week 7 of the 2011 Legislative Session.  The House Redistricting Committee and its three subcommittees will hold their first meetings April 20 and 21.

The three subcommittees are the House Redistricting Subcommittee, the Senate Redistricting Subcommittee and the Congressional Redistricting Subcommittee — named for the specific district maps under their jurisdication.

April 20, the Redistricting Committee and the Congressional Redistricting Subcommittee will meet jointly, 8:00 AM – 9:30 AM, in 212 Knott Building of the Capitol complex.  April 21, the House Redistricting Subcommittee and the Senate Redistricting Subcommittee will meet jointly, same time, same location. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Public Meetings, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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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