Redistricting Matters!


2010 was a “census” year and now 2011 is a “redistricting” year.

Up until now, what we’ve seen and heard coming from the NV Legislature has been talk of budget and cuts.  We’re now starting to hear the first whispers of the coming battle that will encompass Redistricting efforts.

Every ten years, following the Federal Census, the Nevada State Legislature is responsible for reapportioning and redistricting the districts for:

  • The United States House of Representatives;
  • The Nevada State Senate;
  • The Nevada State Assembly;
  • The Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents; and
  • The State Board of Education.
  • Nevada has adequate population to gain a fourth congressional seat and, therefore, the Legislature must divide the State’s population as nearly as practicable into fourths for these four members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislative committees charged with reapportionment and redistricting for the 2011 Legislative Session are the Senate and Assembly Committees on Legislative Operations and Elections.

    Local governments also reapportion and redistrict the districts for county commission, city council, and school board of trustees. Please contact one of these local governing bodies in your community for more information.

    Up on NPRI.org is a copy of the “Grassroots Proposal for Redistricting Nevada” which addresses “Congressional” redistricting lines. Included with that link is their commentary on the report.  Their biggest complaint seems to be that the proposed CD4 lines were proposed by Democratic activists who just happen to be “evil” union members and that they feel the lines heavily favor Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford.  CD4 would cover all of North Las Vegas, including Horsford’s current district, and stretch up into rural Nevada before ending just south of Carson City.

    Another complaint noted in the commentary is the beef they have about the racial make-up of the proposed CD4:

    Using the new data, Nevada Journal mapped out the proposed new district, obtaining a demographic breakdown. According to the available data, CD-4 would contain 41 percent whites, 37 percent Hispanics and 12 percent African-Americans.

    By contrast, Hispanics would make up 20 percent of both CD-1 and CD-2 and 24 percent of CD-3. African-Americans would be 9 percent of CD-1, 2 percent of CD-2, and 7 percent of CD-3.

    If the Legislature approved the activists’ plan, the congressional district proposed for Horsford would be the closest of the four to a “majority-minority district,” defined by the National Conference of State Legislatures as a district where a single racial or language minority is the largest population.

    In the last decade, Nevada’s Hispanic population increased by 82%.  That means a large number of Hispanic voters are going to be reflected in the redistricting.  They can complain all they want about the proposal containing a “majority-minority” district, but even the Republicans are looking at creating a “majority-minority” district according to State Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Clark.  Given that the population concentration is in the Southern tip of our state, absent some serious gerrymandering and/or north-to-south stripes, throughout our state, I’m not sure how they’re going to get around that issue.

    You can sign up for informational mailings at the NV Legislature Nevada Reapportionment & Redistricting page.

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