Redistricting is here!
The every-ten-years adjustment of the state's legislative districts is happening this fall. And there is a chance for you to help. This Thursday the state's redistricting panel will be holding a hearing at URI, the only one planned in South County. They will describe where they think the lines ought to be.
As Common Cause puts it, if left alone, politicians will draw maps to benefit themselves. But you can have a voice here. CC conducted a training a couple of weeks ago, which you can see on youtube, And they offer a great little worksheet here that describes some of the process and asks about what you see as the natural boundaries of the community you live in. It's an interesting quick read, and leads you to think about where the borders actually are and what they mean.
Redistricting is very important to North Kingstown, not just because it's important everywhere, but also because Senate District 35, currently represented by Senator Bridget Valverde, is one of the more oddly drawn districts in the state. Spanning four towns, it reaches from East Greenwich , through North and South Kingstown, right down to Narragansett. You can see it below in the long snaky green thing, just inside the blue Senate District 36 (home of Senator Alana DiMario), which is itself not a particularly compact district. It's a very peculiar choice of maps, chosen probably to benefit the office holders in 2010. How these districts are redrawn will matter to both our Senators, and probably to you, too.
Come to the hearing! Thursday October 7, Brookside Hall at URI, 6pm.