MADISON – Today, the People’s Maps Commission announced Eric Holder will be among the redistricting experts presenting to the Commission during their inaugural online public hearing on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020. Holder is currently Chair of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee and is an internationally recognized expert on a broad range of legal issues, including redistricting.
Additional experts set to testify before the Commission include Ruth Greenwood, Co-Director of Voting Rights and Redistricting at the Campaign Legal Center, and Karen Nelson, Equity and Diversity Coordinator for the Appleton Mayor’s Office. More information about the experts is available HERE.
The Commission also announced Christopher Ford was voted Chair of the People’s Maps Commission. Ford, of Whitefish Bay, represents the 4th Congressional District. Ford is an emergency physician serving one of the highest COVID-19 prevalence populations in the state. He is a member of the American Board of Emergency Medicine, Emergency Medicine Residents Association, and an advisory board member of the Wisconsin Emergency Medical Services for Children.
“I have practiced medicine in this state in several districts. In each, I have seen the direct harmful effects of gerrymandering and lack of representation,” Ford said. “Ultimately, it is Wisconsinites that pay the price for unfair maps. Our commission aims to create maps devoid of bias and partisanship, representing each district’s citizens.”
Following the experts’ presentations, Wisconsin residents have the opportunity to provide public comment to commission members regarding how they have been impacted by legislative redistricting and share their ideas for how Wisconsin can work together to achieve fair maps. Anyone wishing to testify at a hearing must register in advance by visiting the People’s Maps Commission website HERE. The deadline for remote public appearance requests for the October hearing was 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020.
Remote public testimony will begin at 7:30 p.m. Each speaker has a time limit of 3 minutes. Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis, with residents of Wisconsin’s Eighth Congressional District being given priority.
Although the Oct. 1 hearing will focus on the Eighth Congressional District, all Wisconsin residents are encouraged to watch and participate. The hearing will be live-streamed on the Department of Administration’s YouTube Channel HERE.
For anyone unable to join online, written comments are strongly encouraged. All written comments can be submitted at any time using the feedback form available on the People’s Maps Commission website HERE. Written comments will be reviewed by the commissioners and are public record.
Selected by a three- judge panel, the Commission is a nine-member nonpartisan redistricting commission charged with drawing fair, impartial maps for Wisconsin. More information about the Commission, its members, and its activities is available HERE.
Every 10 years, each state redraws their legislative and congressional district maps using data from the decennial census. In addition to the data from the 2020 U.S. Census, the Commission will use the information gathered during the public hearing process to prepare new maps. It is then up to the Legislature to take up and approve the maps created by the Commission.
Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the People’s Maps Commission will host the public hearings online for each of Wisconsin’s congressional districts. Agendas and additional details will be announced in advance of future meeting dates. The hearing dates are as follows:
- 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, 8th Congressional District
- Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020, 5th Congressional District
- Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, 3rd Congressional District
- Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, 4th Congressional District
- January hearing date TBD, 7th Congressional District
- February hearing date TBD, 1st Congressional District
- March hearing date TBD, 6th Congressional District
- April hearing date TBD, 2nd Congressional District