Map That Jawn
Map That Jawn - The Full Story
Let’s face it: all of us took US history at some point in time or another in middle or high school, but the only things that I can really remember are that there are three branches of government and that one song “Fifty Nifty United States,” which now unfortunately lives rent-free in my head. In eighth grade history class, out of boredom I taught myself how to french braid my own hair. I also sat in the front row, so I didn’t even attempt to hide my lack of interest - sorry about that, Ms. Hayes. So, what were you doing during your history class? Zoning out the window, staring at your crush, sticking your gum to the bottom of your desk, passing notes with your friends?
Everyone had different distractions in their history class, but if you’re like me, this left a huge gap in my education, which speaks to the structural failings of our education system. No one taught me about redistricting. And if you were lucky enough to learn about it, many students may never think about gerrymandering again. It is far too common that young Americans don’t know enough about the nuances and nitty-gritty details of how our government functions. That being said, for a generation who grew up with Google at our fingertips, it’s surprisingly difficult to find accurate, easily digestible information to fill those gaps in our education. That’s where we come in. Without further ado, we’d like to introduce ourselves. We are #VoteThatJawn, an organization that aims to bring 18-year-olds and other first-time voters to the polls— beginning a process toward full civic engagement. We’re here to teach you about redistricting, gerrymandering 101, and the power of your vote.
Recognizing the complexity of understanding Congressional redistricting (check out our tabs for more background and information!), we’ve put together an interactive map to break things down, especially for those of us who were learning to french braid in history class. Stick with us, and redistricting really WILL seem like a piece of cake. Our map has two main functions: first and foremost, it visibly presents all 17 of the new Pennsylvania Congressional districts. When you scroll over the icon next to the district with your mouse, you’ll receive information on the current representative of the district, and you’ll also receive information on the partisan lean of that district based on two different scholarly sources.
Haven’t heard of partisan lean? No big deal, we’ve got you! Feel free to click on the question mark button in the upper right corner of your map to learn more about partisan lean and what the differences between sources might suggest. The second function of our map is our clickable pin icons. Each pin marks a location where there was a significant change or continuity in the Congressional map district. Please engage with our map by clicking on a pin to receive a short blurb on the redistricting process of that specific area. We’ve chosen to flag 14 separate counties and neighborhoods, and each pin details the politics of that district, making the information more accessible, clearer and easier to digest. If you’re interested in a visual representation of former Pennsylvania Congressional District maps to better understand the locations that we’ve chosen to pin, go ahead and check out our navigation options on the left side of the map below.