Well that was a hopeful clip from HBO's the Newsroom! It has been said that the amazing thing about the American government is that every two years you can go to your local fire station and overthrow your government without firing a shot. How does this process work? How much does your vote matter when you vote for your member of Congress? How well are you represented in the federal government? Let's explore how the intricacies of representation work in practice.
The process for determining representation starts off simple...
But, then it gets a little more complicated...
Watch this video to understand how Gerrymandering and redistricting works and some of its implications on the electoral process. Pay attention because you will need the information in this video to do the next activity.
Now play the Redistricting Game! Pick a party and try to create districts that will lead your party to victory every November for the next ten years! You must complete the first two rounds and get these plans approved by the State Legislature, signed by the Governor, and avoid being challenged in the courts. Good luck!
How often does this actually happen? Click on the button below to find an interactive map that shows how gerrymandered each congressional district was in 2014.
To sum this all up Adam Conover from "Adam Ruins Everything" articulates an argument against partisan gerrymandering in the video below.
Name some congressional districts that were heavily Gerrymandered in 2014 (and in most states still are) according to the Washington Post. What does this Gerrymandering mean for someone living in one of these congressional districts? In other words, this is where you explain where and why this matters.