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Senator Ragan: Census will ensure fair representation for North Iowa

Amanda Ragan

The following is a legislative update from State Senator Amanda Ragan, representing portions of Franklin, Butler and Cerro Gordo counties:

Detailed Census data<https://www.iowadatacenter.org/data/decennial> released August 12 shows where Iowa’s 3.2 million residents lived as of April 1, 2020, and is available for communities down to the block level.

These population numbers are the basis for drawing new legislative and congressional districts, which determines your elected representation at the state and federal levels. The population numbers also determine how billions in federal dollars are allocated to communities; they ensure your tax dollars are used to enhance our local area in a variety of ways.

Iowa will now begin the redistricting process.

Our state is known for its model redistricting system. It’s free of the partisanship and gerrymandering often seen in other states—which amounts to politicians picking their constituents to remain in power.

Citizens deserve to choose their elected leaders—not the other way around. That’s the foundation of our democracy.

I am pushing for fair maps and will keep you posted on how the process is rolled out in the coming weeks.

Iowa’s redistricting criteria

1.  Districts must be established based on population, and the population of all districts should be as equal as practicable.

2.  Each Congressional district must be composed of whole counties, and the number of counties and cities divided into more than one legislative district must be as small as possible.

3.  Districts must be composed of convenient contiguous territory.

4.  Districts must be reasonably compact in form (i.e., square, rectangular or hexagonal; not irregularly shaped, to the extent permitted by natural or political boundaries).

High-school students: Apply to be a Page

Each year, high school juniors and seniors work as pages at the Iowa Capitol during the legislative session, which runs from January through April. This is an opportunity to learn firsthand about state government, work with elected officials and see how ideas become law.

Job duties include responding to requests from legislators and staff, assisting during committee meetings, and distributing and organizing materials and supplies. Pages are paid, and may also arrange for academic credit with their high school.

The application deadline for the 2022 session is October 8. Get complete details and an application at legis.iowa.gov/careers

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