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Mapping tool lets people show communities of interest to IRC

By: - July 22, 2021 12:47 pm
arizona map redistricting

Photo by omersukrugoksu | iStock / Getty Images Plus

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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Jeremy Duda
Jeremy Duda

Jeremy Duda is a Phoenix native and began his career in journalism in 2003 after graduating from the University of Arizona. Jeremy Duda previously served as the Mirror's associate Editor. Prior to joining the Arizona Mirror, he worked at the Arizona Capitol Times, where he spent eight years covering the Governor's Office and two years as editor of the Yellow Sheet Report. Before that, he wrote for the Hobbs News-Sun of Hobbs, NM, and the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah. Jeremy is also the author of the history book “If This Be Treason: the American Rogues and Rebels Who Walked the Line Between Dissent and Betrayal.”