skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, July 22, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Gov. Whitmer endorses Kamala Harris for president, says she's not leaving Michigan; Secret Service director, grilled by lawmakers on the Trump assassination attempt, says we failed; Teachers rally at national convention in Houston; Opioid settlement fund fuels anti-addiction battle in Indiana; Nonprofit agency says corporate donations keep programs going.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Kamala Harris rapidly picks up Democratic Support - including vast majority of state party leaders; National rent-cap proposal could benefit NY renters; Carter's adoption support: Empowering families, strengthening workplaces.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Potential OR Initiative Could Cut Down on Gerrymandering

play audio
Play

Friday, June 26, 2020   

PORTLAND, Ore. - Oregon stands out on the West Coast for the way its voting districts are drawn. Unlike neighbors California, Idaho and Washington, redistricting in Oregon is a political process decided by the party in power.

The threat of gerrymandering is high. Executive Director of Common Cause Oregon Kate Titus says politicians typically draw districts behind closed doors using elaborate data.

"If you move that line over one block and include this block in this district instead of that district," asks Titus, "how's it going to affect their political power? So, that sophisticated analysis is happening - it's just not open to the public, and that's really the problem."

Titus says a coalition of groups is looking to change that.

Signatures are being collected for an initiative to create an independent, nonpartisan redistricting commission. Its backers have until July 2 to collect about 150,000 signatures.

Critics of the idea say creating the commission would leave out some marginalized groups. Titus counters that an independent redistricting commission would invite the public to participate in the process.

"It's all out in the open and it centers around community input," says Titus. "So, a lot of public testimony, so that the commission itself is really responding to the needs of communities as the communities themselves see them."

The novel coronavirus has thrown a wrench into the signature-collecting process.

Titus says the campaign had to get creative. The coalition, known as "People Not Politicians," mailed petitions to a half-million households in the state.

She says folks can sign it from home, too.

"If they had a computer at home, they could print out a petition on their computers, sign it and mail it in," says Titus.

She says getting an independent commission passed this year is especially important. Districts are drawn once a decade - and that happens next year, using 2020 Census data.

Support for this reporting was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.




get more stories like this via email

more stories
In Vermont, Maine and the District of Columbia, people with felony convictions do not lose their right to vote. (Studio Romantic/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

About 7,000 Nebraskans with felony convictions who thought they'd be able to register to vote, now face uncertainty. In question is the …


play sound

More Americans are learning about the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation this election season, but its influence has been decades in the …

Environment

play sound

New global guidelines for aquaculture aim to address growing concerns about the industry's impact on the oceans. Scientists have suggested ways to …


Currently, 33 states have laws banning or preempting local rent control laws. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Backers of President Joe Biden's rent cap proposal said it could benefit many New Yorkers. The plan calls for capping rent increases at 5% in …

Social Issues

play sound

Virginia is making a financial investment to help tackle the state's childcare shortage. This year's budget allocates more than $1 billion to …

Sioux Falls experienced its wettest two-day period in the National Weather Service's record keeping, according to NASA, which began in 1893. (Brian Jackson/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

As South Dakotans affected by recent record floods take stock of damages, researchers say water quality is among the concerns. The state has been …

Health and Wellness

play sound

Wayne State University has received a $1.25 million grant to prepare adapted physical education specialists to serve students with disabilities…

Environment

play sound

As West Virginia opens its door to the plastics recycling or "advanced recycling" industry, a recent report found only a fraction of plastics are …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021