ACTION NEEDED: Please Testify and support this House Community Plan Map

Sierra Club members, we need your help now!

ACTION NEEDED: Please Testify and support this ‘House Community Plan‘ Map submitted by Ralph Boyea, representing our Hawai’i Island community needs. Email testimony can be sent in any time before the upcoming meetings, if you would like to testify via zoom, please send an email to reapportionment@hawaii.gov 

Please note the dates/times below. 

Map

Description automatically generated

Public Hearing for West & East Hawaii Island
WEST
Wednesday, December 1st, 2021
5:00pm

https://zoom.us/j/99663120815

Meeting ID: 996 6312 0815

EAST

Thursday, December 2, 2021 5:00PM

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/96991096001

Meeting ID: 969 9109 6001

Full Commission Meeting

Wednesday, December 22, 2021 1:00PM

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/98215107876

Meeting ID: 982 1510 7876

To be added to the mailing list to receive notices for upcoming Reapportionment Commission meetings, email reapportionment@hawaii.gov and provide your name, organization, and email address.

SAMPLE TESTIMONY:

Aloha Reapportionment Commissioners, 

My name is __ (Your name)___ and I live in ___(describe or name your area)____. As a resident of Hawai’i Island I am concerned about the proposed State House Redistricting maps for our island because multiple communities are being divided across numerous districts. I like the alternative proposed “Community Plan” submitted by Ralph Boyea because it keeps subdivisions together in more rural areas and also does a good job of keeping the urban areas of our island less split apart over numerous House Districts. Please support this proposed plan moving forward. 

Mahalo,

_____ (Your name)_____

Why should I care about redistricting maps? It’s the redrawing of the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts. It happens every 10 years, after the census, to reflect the changes in population. Over time, districts gain or lose population. That gives a voter in a district with a bigger population less of a say than a voter in a sparsely populated district.  By separating communities of similar issues, abuse of the system is responsible for a host of political ills, especially polarization.

Why is the census important? The census population count determines how many representatives each state will have in Congress for the next 10 years and how much federal funding communities will receive for roads, schools, housing and social programs.  If communities are split apart, they are less able to organize good changes in their area.

How this House redistricting map was created:

The “House Community Plan” map was created in collaboration with local residents living in each House district area because the current proposal put forward by the State Reapportionment Commission did not represent our overall Big Island community well. We also invited environmental impact experts living on this island to weigh in on the coastal and watershed relationships. To our best abilities we have reflected our decisions on lowest deviation in population, highest community continuity by keeping similar residential demographics and needs together and considered the environmental and watershed connections. Our goal was to create more cohesive districting lines and have equal population distribution across all districts. Currently we are calculating at a 4.10% deviation in population, significantly better than the State’s 5.72%. We have also regrouped pockets of our community and large Puna subdivisions all around our island that were being split apart by their proposed map. 

By grouping similar communities with similar challenges it will be easier to use federal, state, and county funds to address roadway, waterways, public schools, and much needed social service support in our diverse districts while being conscious of the environmental impact.

We feel designing this map without factoring in where incumbents live was vital towards creating a balanced map. Also crucial was ensuring input from residents all over the island had a hand in making this “Community Plan” map with a community needs first mindset.

A similar redistricting process is happening at the County Council, and current map proposals can be viewed here: 

Hawaii County Council Maps

If you would like to submit testimony on any of these map proposals please email written testimony to: redistrictingcommission@hawaiicounty.gov or call 808-961-8020 no later than 12PM on Thursday Nov. 11th, 2021 for their next meeting on Friday, November 12th at 9:30AM. If you would like to testify via zoom, use that same email address to request access. Commission staff will respond with information on how to access the meeting and links necessary. 

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