What is the OurMapsMN Campaign?

The OurMapsMN nonpartisan grassroots campaign is a campaign of the Minnesota Alliance for Democracy. The Minnesota Alliance for Democracy (MA4D) is a coalition formed to promote democracy through meaningful engagement for all Minnesotans. Redistricting reform and engagement efforts are one of several MA4D policy priorities.  

Who is supporting OurMapsMN?

The Campaign is driven by a coalition of civic engagement advocates, nonprofits, grantmakers, grassroots groups, technical experts, academics and others working toward a community-focused, accessible, and transparent redistricting process.  

Everyone involved has a long-standing commitment to a strong and inclusive democracy; a democracy where every person is counted, heard, seen, valued, and represented. A strong democracy is foundational because we know that when our democracy is working for all of us, we can achieve progress and reduce disparities in housing, education, health care, environment, criminal justice, and more.

OurMapsMN Campaign goals?

The OuMapsMN Campaign is committed to a community-focused, accessible, and transparent redistricting process in Minnesota. We aim to: 

  • Empower historically under-represented BIPOC communities and other stakeholders across the state to engage in the redistricting process to ensure they are seen and visible in our political boundaries, increasing their ability to elect officials that truly represent and listen to the community. 
  • Promote reforms to the redistricting process that increase community ownership over the process and codify community-focused redistricting principles into law. 
  • Sustain and strengthen the community-based civic engagement infrastructure and relationships developed from the 2020 Census effort to support consistent, enduring advocacy and organizing for democracy-focused causes, such as the Census and American Community Survey, voting rights, redistricting, and more.  
  • Achieve fair Congressional and state legislative district maps that reflect input from communities of interest, particularly BIPOC communities 

Why is a community-focused, accessible, and transparent redistricting process important? 

In 2020, we did our best to ensure that we achieved a fully inclusive, nonpartisan, and accurate Census count. We focused on ensuring that historically undercounted communities were seen and counted in our communities.  

We are currently working to ensure that historically undercounted and underrepresented communities are seen and visible in our political boundaries to maximize their power and support an inclusive democracy.  We all deserve elect officials that will truly represent us and feel connected to our issues. 

How politicians draw district lines in Minnesota can put voters together in groups – some voters are kept together in one district and others are separated and placed into other districts. As you can see, this process can keep people with common interests together or split them apart to dilute their political power and voice.  Also depending on which voters are bundled together or split, district lines can make it easier or harder for us to elect a representative responsive to our community or to organize effectively around issues that impact us the most. 

A community-focused, accessible, and transparent redistricting process is critical to ensuring that our communities have equitable representation and influence in our democracy so we too can thrive.  

 

How can we get there together?

The OurMapsMN Campaign offers the opportunity to work together and safeguard the redistricting process in Minnesota by: 

  • Organizing and Mobilizing with BIPOC communities and other stakeholders across the state to talk about redistricting and why it matters, map BIPOC and other communities of interest, create community map(s) via a parallel Community Redistricting Commission, and advocate that community maps influence the legislative and legal process. 
  • Policy and Advocacy at the state level to advance redistricting reforms, adoption of community-focused redistricting principles, and influence all three branches of government to allow for more community voice in the process. 
  • Public Awareness and Storytelling to raise public awareness about redistricting with local media, particularly local ethnic and community media, and develop messaging and share stories about why redistricting matters to help the broader public, especially BIPOC communities, connect the dots between redistricting and their interests. 
  • Technical Expertise and Assistance to support the strategies above, such as mapping support, training on tools, research, parallel commission assistance, etc.