Hamilton County, TN redistricting

Photo of the Tennessee River at dawn with the sun rising over the mountains in the background.
Photo by Kelly Lacy from Pexels

The census numbers are in, and state representatives + local county commissioners have started the redistricting process. Let’s break it down.

✔️ Words to know

Gerrymandering (v.): to change the population statistics of a voting district by redrawing lines to create a result that helps or harms an opposing political party.

Redistricting (v.): the process of redrawing electoral district boundaries that determines who represents the people of your county commission, school board, and city council — this process happens every 10 years after census data has been collected.

Transparency (n.): the state of being transparent; as it relates to redistricting, being clear with county constituents on the process and outcome.

✔️ Redrawing lines

Why would we redraw lines? Right now in Hamilton County, there are 9 county commissioners who represent more than 40,000 people in each of their districts + districts 7, 8, and 9 are seeing rapid population growth.

What does that mean for us? There could be additional districts drawn in Hamilton County due to the population increase.

How can we get involved? Glad you asked. There isn’t a law that enforces county commissioners to be transparent about the redistricting process, so local + state advocates are calling for community-led redistricting this time around.

✔️ Community-led redistricting

Why would the community get involved? To have a say in what they believe is fair, inclusive, and transparent redistricting, since a new map will have a huge impact on the community. It’s how local communities could avoid gerrymandering.

How can I get involved? Attend this morning’s Hamilton County Commission’s Redistricting Workshop at 10:30 a.m. (​​625 Georgia Ave. No. 401) or check out the workshop schedule and plan to attend the next one.

I’d like to learn more before getting involved. Great, check out this resource from local group UnifiEd, take a locally-focused Redistricting 101 class + learn more from Think Tennessee, a nonpartisan think tank.

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