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When redistricting commissioners begin their statewide tour on Friday, Arizonans will be able to not only tell them about their communities of interest but show them as well.
The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission created a tool that’s available on its website that allows people to map out their communities of interest. The mapping tool is part of a survey that the commission is asking people to fill out to provide public input on what they’d like to see from the redistricting process.
Communities of interest are any grouping of people with shared interests, identities, concerns or needs. It’s a broad term that can include myriad groups — a specific neighborhood or region, a collection of people who work for the same company or industry, people who use a particular transportation corridor, people who send their children to the same school, or people who rely on a particular service.
Respecting communities of interest is one of the six criteria in the Arizona Constitution that the IRC must follow when drawing congressional and legislative districts, and because it is such a wide-ranging term that is subject to so much interpretation, it can be one of the trickiest requirements the commission faces.
The IRC created the survey for people to fill out in preparation for its upcoming listening tour, which will see the commission hold 15 meetings across the state over 17 days to receive public input before it begins drawing new districts. The first meeting will be in Florence on Friday evening, followed by meetings over the weekend in Phoenix and Glendale.
The commission will begin its remapping work after it receives detailed population data from the U.S. Census Bureau on Aug. 16.
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