The immediate impact of New Jersey’s new legislative map has been to produce a flurry of activity among members of the State Senate and Assembly.
Legislators are retiring, moving out of their hometowns, shifting their election campaigns from the Assembly to the Senate (and vice versa), and trying to win a game of political musical chairs that is being played in districts that now have more incumbents than open seats.
For the most part, the dust will settle by April 11, the filing deadline for this fall’s elections. But maybe we should not be so quick to relegate the contentious issue of redistricting to the backburner for another decade. Why not take some time now – while redistricting and all its flaws and shortcomings are still fresh in our minds – to see how the process can be improved for the next round of legislative map-making? Continue reading
Next month, after we learn what New Jersey’s 40 Legislative districts will look like when the State Apportionment Commission completes its work, we also will get a sense of which political party fares better under the new map.
But the biggest winners in the redistricting process – at both the Legislative and Congressional levels – sometimes are not the parties themselves, but individual lawmakers.
That’s what resulted from the redistricting that took place after the 1990 Census – and it could happen again this time around. The scenarios are somewhat similar. Continue reading
I will be speaking at two conferences in March.
On Friday, March 11, I will be speaking at the New Jersey Political Science Association’s 2011 Annual Meeting at the Eagleton Institute for Politics in New Brunswick. I’ ll be on a panel discussing the impact of redistricting on the New Jersey Legislature and the state’s Congressional delegation.
Later in the month, I will take part in a panel presentation at Communication and 21st Century Technologies, the New Jersey Communication Association’s 15th annual conference. The event will take place at Bergen Community College in Paramus. I’ll be speaking about politics and internet use as part of a panel titled Examining Technology and Community in Scholarship.