Introducing the Drawing Democracy Fund's 2021 Grantees:
Brazilian Women’s Group, Brighton
BWG will draw five maps of areas with high concentrations of Brazilians, which are Allston-Brighton, Framingham, the Cape area, Everett, Somerville. They will partner with Brazilian leaders in these cities to make sure the map reflects the highest areas of concentration of the cities. In addition to the maps, BWG will also develop an education campaign to make sure Brazilians understand what redistricting means, how the U.S. Census impacts redistricting, political representation, and voting and why immigrant communities, such as Brazilians, regardless of immigration status, should participate.
Coalition for Social Justice, New Bedford
CSJ will work with partner organizations to hold 12 different educational events in their communities. The events will happen between May and October 2021 with the primary goal of creating a unity map ready for the legislature by the first week of November 2021. The mixture of in-person and outdoor events will be decided as the state continues to set safety guidelines throughout the summer and fall. At each of these events, they will recruit storytellers and people who will share testimony with local leaders and propel folks to mobilize for public hearings to share the importance of a unified map proposal.
Building off of their organizing work in the Codman Square community, CSNDC will undertake outreach with partners, residents, and other stakeholders to complete three main activities: Disseminate information about redistricting plans, process, and how it impacts residents and the community overall. Recruit participants to join our coalition and take on leadership roles. Educate participants to be prepared to attend redistricting hearings and advocate for the best interest of their community.
La Colaborativa, Chelsea
Drawing on thirty years of civic engagement and leadership development in partnership with Latinx, immigrant, and low-income residents, La Colaborativa will implement grassroots organizing activities to advocate for a transparent redistricting process, fair voting districts, and equal representation for the Chelsea community. La Colaborativa will host “train the trainer” sessions for other organizations in the region to learn how to conduct community education and outreach on the redistricting process. They will convene two community meetings to educate members on redistricting and how they can participate in public hearings/comments and will advocate with legislators at the state-level for equity in how the new districts are being drawn.
The Center will educate and engage their community in the creation of a new district map through social media outreach, their bi-monthly tv show, and a combination of outdoors, in-person events, such as door knocking, and virtual events. Working in partnership with local partners, they will conduct outreach for upcoming elections and will incorporate messaging about redistricting in this outreach. The goal will be to inform and engage their constituents about the importance of the new districts and include their voices in the creation of a new local map.
Madison Park Development Corporation, Roxbury
MPDC will host multiple Train-the-Trainer and Resident Leader sessions to engage local leaders. Resident leaders will receive a monthly stipend and will support and amplify redistricting outreach efforts. They will leverage a range of engagement and communication strategies to both increase awareness and knowledge of the redistricting process, as well as recruit community members to provide input for local maps. Efforts will include community meetings among resident leadership groups and at MPDC properties; workshops with young people engaged in MPDC’s youth employment programs; and multi-channel communication campaigns leveraging MPDC’s social media and newsletter, as well as property specific newsletters.
Massachusetts Communities Action Network, Dorchester & Brockton
MCAN affiliate staff and leaders will participate in DDC train the trainers and their staff will build this campaign into voter education, and registration and mobilization trainings, including political education around the history of how redistricting has been used historically to dilute the power of communities of color in Massachusetts. They will train at least 20 leaders in each community to include education and conversations about redistricting in listening sessions with voters this summer, so they can learn more about the locations and characters of communities of interest in their cities. Leaders in Brockton and Boston will draw maps and submit data about their communities to the Drawing Democracy Coalition.
MassVOTE will bring together community and grassroots leaders and organizations to promote a transparent and accountable redistricting process and empower their communities by creating fair voting districts. They will provide support to community-based organizations involved in organizing around redistricting and work to bring communities of color together through the Democracy HUBS structure, to ensure collaboration between communities of color, thus avoiding conflicts that result in a loss of political power. Along with their “on-the-ground” work, MassVOTE will collaborate with the Drawing Democracy Coalition steering committee to close the technology and information gap by offering access to data and mapping technology.
Neighbor to Neighbor will collaborate with partners at the DDC, moving together as a collective to establish tight coordination, strengthen the statewide unity map, align goals for a transparent and accountable redistricting process, and empower communities that have been historically underrepresented to participate in creating fair voting districts. They will recruit four chapter organizers and base of member leaders to attend a training for trainers, run a training on communities of interest with members and leaders, give feedback on districts’ maps and statewide maps in collaboration with coalitions, meet local elected officials, and mobilize folks to public hearings.
Neighbors United for a Better East Boston, East Boston
Through a diversity of methods, NUBE will be building on the work and initiatives they have been part of co-creating this past year to overcome the challenges COVID-19 presented as well as long-term challenges the community faces with rapid gentrification, displacement, economic insecurity, and social injustices. They will integrate a fair redistricting process into their civic education and training civic engagement calendar: 1) Building Roots: Abundant Leadership Program; 2) Fertile Soils: Civic and Voter Engagement Calendar; and 3) Innovative Clouds: Alternative Systems Model Experimentation. Together, these programs will move the overall mission to be a source of education and active civic engagement for their community.
NEU4J will work closely with the leadership of the DDC and coordinate efforts with Right to the City Boston and citywide allies. Activities will include: educational workshops about the history of redistricting, the legal requirements, and how to train leaders to educate others; social media strategies to help collect data through community informed surveys and to promote hearings and town hall events; building community representation and story sharing during citywide assembly process; participating in direct advocacy with city and state leaders; and, through community engagement work, integrating redistricting questions and messaging inform voters on this process and its importance.
Pioneer Valley Project, Springfield
Pioneer Valley Project will educate and engage community members from diverse segments of their communities in the redistricting process by using both conventional and innovative approaches, which are grounded in their decades of work in community organizing and community-driven facilitation. They will begin with conducting outreach and education in target areas to build additional relationships and increase awareness and understanding of the redistricting process. They will also create strong and consistent messaging and educational materials in multiple languages to utilize throughout their campaign. Through virtual education sessions, they will identify key grassroots leaders and other community stakeholders to form a leadership team for their legislative district and offer additional training opportunities along with their partners. These district leadership teams will lead planning for and implementation of district-based community mapping sessions, which will dive deeply into important factors in maintaining community continuity and ensuring representation.
Asian Pacific Islanders Civic Action Network: Quincy Asian Resources, Inc., Chinese Progressive Association, Asian Community Development Corporation, Asian American Resource Workshop, & Greater Malden Asian American Community Coalition, Quincy, Chinatown, Dorchester & Malden
APIs CAN will work as a collaborative with four other partner organizations to increase awareness and mobilize their constituency to educate the community about the proposed redistricting map through community meetings, social media, and encouraging groups to attend state-held public hearings. In addition, they will work with local leaders to ensure that policies and resources are reflective of the 2020 Census data and that they are supportive of a redistricting map that is inclusive and representative of that data They will work with their communities to create maps that serve an increasingly diverse community.
Revere Youth in Action, Revere
Revere Youth in Action will work with youth leaders from the “Train Up” program to hire Redistricting fellows who will work over the summer to host internal trainings on redistricting and form an Immigrant/POC Community Redistricting Committee. They will create an original art poster to be used in trainings to inform the community about redistricting. They will lead trainings over the summer within the community and train youth to participate in public hearings.
SEACMA will participate in all training sessions related to the redistricting process hosted by the DDC and will utilize toolkits and materials provided. They will host at least one education session for Greater Worcester community organizations about the redistricting process and four community education sessions for those interested in the redistricting process. SEACMA will distribute redistricting information to local stores, gathering places, places of worship, etc., and on all social media channels. They will also conduct phone banking to educate community members on opportunities to engage in the redistricting process and disseminate information to local meetings/town halls via 200 flyers during food pantry, hot meals, and delivery programs. They will mobilize community leaders, civic leaders, and interested citizens to attend public meetings regarding redistricting via youth group meetings and will mention redistricting to call-in clients.
Training Alliance Center, Mattapan
The Training Alliance Center will leverage its extensive network of community organizations, religious, and civic groups in the Haitian community with the goal of educating and mobilizing them around redistricting. There will be three main areas of focus for this effort – the City of Boston, points to the north of Boston (Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, Malden, Lynn, etc.), and points to the south of Boston (Brockton, Randolph, Stoughton, etc.). They will conduct outreach to leaders of religious congregations and community organizations to present the overall objectives of Redistricting and invite them to hold meetings, in-person as well as virtual, to explain the process of redrawing congressional districts, the concept of gerrymandering, and the consequences it has on disadvantaged populations, and the importance of advocating for a fair redistricting process. The end goal is to prepare community members to attend the public and virtual hearings and to participate in meaningful advocacy around the process. They will also host a series of learning sessions for the same community and citizens groups, regarding how to keep the Haitian American community as whole as possible; the use of mapping software; analyzing census data; and explaining various principles used to guide district lines, such as equal representation and respecting boundaries. This will also involve training and preparing select community and civic leaders from the Haitian-American community to participate in the collaborative effort to develop coalition maps.
United Interfaith Action of Southeastern MA, New Bedford & Fall River
UIA will build a redistricting mapping team consisting of UIA’s two, full-time staff covering the cities of Fall River and New Bedford, and a core team of at least half a dozen community leaders (at least three from New Bedford and three from Fall River). Staff will help develop and lead a statewide training for leaders in the affiliate groups of the Massachusetts Communities Action Network. They will identify other organizational partners with strong roots in the community such as the NAACP New Bedford Branch, Immigrants’ Assistance Center, and United Neighbors of Fall River to collaborate on mapping equitable and representative districts for Fall River and New Bedford and meeting with community members from area congregations and community organizations to determine clusters of people and places that are of importance for representative, electoral power. They will attend public hearings held by the state to understand their redistricting plans and hold 1-2 Community Workshops/Forums in collaboration with regional partners (CSJ, YWCA, etc) to educate the public in Greater Fall River and Greater New Bedford on redistricting and its importance in developing electoral power and representative government.
Worcester Interfaith, Worcester
Worcester Interfaith will work in coalition and collectively with their umbrella organization MCAN and the DDC. They will train staff, cultural brokers, members, and volunteers on redistricting and its importance. They will provide training and leadership development on topics such as: how to facilitate a meeting, how to conduct 1-1s, how to have effective meetings with elected officials, how to write letters to the editors, and more. They will make presentations at congregations, as well as racial/ethnic and cultural organizations in Greater Worcester and utilize DDC materials for newsletters, social media, and materials added to PPE bags distributed into the community. They will work with community members to start mapping out communities of interest and organize community members to attend public hearings, identify potential leaders to be spokespeople, and support any testimony writing.
Elevated Thought, Lawrence
Elevated Thought (ET) will work with youth leaders and community members to first demystify and then inform the Lawrence community about redistricting. They will do this by hosting virtual and in-person community events to draw, recreate, and challenge the current district map. They will also use art as testimony to uplift the experiences, goals, and the political power of their community. Community members will have the chance to create visuals (murals, colleges, posters, etc.) and text (poetry, audio clips, op-ed, etc.) to explore and spread the wants and needs of their district.
In the fall of 2020, the Drawing Democracy Fund allocated grants to four key partner organizations. These partners work closely with DDF, attending our monthly Working Group meetings and guiding us to build a strategy for Redistricting advocacy, organizing, and grant allocations.
Massachusetts Immigrant Refugee and Advocacy Coalition: Our advocacy and data partner, who will support with policy and mapping work. They will be tracking work at Massachusetts's state legislature concerning the state's redistricting process, connecting with important Legislators, and providing a staff person to organize and track redistricting data, who will assist with statewide map creation.
Massachusetts Voter Table: Our organizing partner, who convenes a statewide organizing collaborative focused on redistricting. They will be planning and hosting educational events for grassroots groups and leaders across the state as well as creating materials and leading the statewide map-making process.
Lawyers for Civil Rights: Our legal partner, who is providing legal precedence and guidance related to redistricting. This includes updates on several lawsuits over the Executive Order from the Trump Administration re: counting undocumented people in the Census count, the accessibility of data from the Census Bureau, and the timeframe for when Redistricting data will be released by the Federal Government.
UMASS Boston: Our data partner, who is providing historical knowledge of redistricting in Massachusetts and also national information on the process.