We Draw Oregon demands fair maps, BIPOC communities must remain together in the new district maps

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We Draw Oregon (WDO) urges communities of interest, specifically communities of color, to get on the record and raise their voice to demand fair maps that keep their communities together in power blocks. Residents can sign up on Oregon State Legislature redistricting page to testify virtually or submit written testimony.

Get on the Record!

Historically, map makers have neglected the interests of BIPOC communities of interest. With this map, we have given special focus to Native and Latinx populations in rural areas as coalition partners.

This week, Oregon redistricting public hearings started. We Draw Oregon(WDO) urges communities of interest, specifically communities of color, to get on the record and raise their voice to demand fair maps that keep their communities together. Residents can sign up on Oregon State Legislature to testify virtually or submit written testimony.

Between September 8th and 13th, there are two hearings in each of the current Congressional Districts and two state-wide hearings on September 13th. All hearings are virtual. The Legislative Redistricting Committees released three separate draft maps to the public. The draft maps can be found here.

"We were under the impression that the Redistricting Committees would release one set of maps. Instead, the process is further complicated for our communities by releasing three versions. At WDO, we have been demystifying the process to support BIPOC communities to understand the impact of the released maps,” said Precious Edmonds, We Draw Oregon’s Advocacy Director.

WDO hosted a critical map review in partnership with Sarah Andre from Common Cause, overlaying racial data on various portions of the draft map plans to see where communities of color are broken up across district lines. That presentation can be accessed here.

WDO partnered with United Way of Columbia-Willamette, representing the Census Equity Funders Committee of Oregon (CEFCO), to distribute community grants. Since the beginning of the year, dozens of community-based organizations, including Native and Tribal groups, have received micro funds to support their outreach efforts. Brian Smith, sponsored by Better Together Central Oregon, submitted an alternative House map titled “Tribal and Latinx Community Focus Map.”

“Historically, map makers have neglected the interests of BIPOC communities of interest. With this map, we have given special focus to Native and Latinx populations in rural areas as coalition partners,” said Brian Smith.

According to the 2020 census data released earlier this month, Oregonians who identify as BIPOC or multiracial are estimated to be nearly 30 percent of the population. According to the Population Research Center at Portland University, 41.1 percent of Oregon youth are BIPOC or multiracial. Given this growth, BIPOC communities must be kept together in power blocks.

"Given how complicated the data is, how late it was released, and the two-day turnaround in reviewing the draft maps, we have been urging communities to create community maps using districtr.org as a way to advocate for their communities of interest,” said Charity Tooze, Creative Director of the We Draw Oregon campaign.

Oregon's communities of color demand equitable representation and fair maps. WDO has prepared multiple toolkits and social media graphics to support communities. Materials are on the WDO site.

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About We Draw Oregon:
Our Mission is to galvanize BIPOC and LGBTQI+-led community-based organizations and political activists to engage in Oregon’s redistricting process by providing information, training, and a pipeline to resources – ensuring our communities are not only included but drive Oregon’s redistricting vision. We Draw Oregon grew out of We Count Oregon, a state-wide campaign that galvanized BIPOC communities to take the census.

About Dancing Hearts Consulting
Dancing Hearts Consulting (DHC) is a progressive political consulting firm that curates innovative ideas, programs, and campaigns that challenge the status quo. DHC tests emerging strategies that change the political game to win long-term change for those most impacted by systemic oppression. DHC was launched in 2017 by civic engagement innovator, philanthropic trouble-maker, and political operative Esperanza Tervalon-Garrett. Our work is rooted in our commitment to advancing racial and social justice through a reflective and responsive American democracy.
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Charity Tooze
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