Your participation is a key to the success of our democracy.
We generally think that means voting, but your opportunity to have a say in who your elected representatives will be starts with the drawing of our district lines.
The pool of candidates to represent your interests is drawn from our voting districts – and those districts are redrawn every 10 years. This is done to account for changes in New Mexico’s population growth and distribution, but it’s not just a numbers game. It’s about people and communities, priorities and values, challenges and solutions – and making sure the candidates you get to choose from are familiar with your needs and interests, and best able to represent your interests.
In the past, our state Legislature managed the redistricting process, but this time your legislators are asking for your input.
The 2021 Redistricting Act established a cross-partisan Citizen Redistricting Committee of seven citizens. I am the chairperson of that committee and, together with my six fellow committee members, we must gather input and perspectives from people in communities across our great state as we prepare to deliver proposed district maps to the Legislature by Oct. 30.
Our mission is to propose district lines that are drawn fairly through a transparent, open and participatory process. This includes maps for election of New Mexico’s congressional delegation, the New Mexico Senate and House of Representatives and the Public Education Commission.
The key word there is “participatory!” Your Citizen Redistricting Committee already completed an initial round of public meetings attended either in person of virtually by nearly 1,200 community members.
That wasn’t enough. We want these maps to represent your interests and concerns – which means we need to hear from you.
Based on data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau and public comments from across the state, we are creating initial draft maps for public consideration. Those maps will be available for every New Mexican to review, consider and comment on.
You can attend one of our second round of public meetings in person or remotely by Zoom. You can also submit comments at nmredistricting.org. This website also shows you how to draw maps, and we encourage you to draw maps to show us how you would like for your district to be drawn.
We will publish proposed maps and concepts for public input on Sept. 17. We will hold eight public meetings throughout New Mexico and by Zoom from Sept. 28 until Oct. 8 so the public can give us their input about the proposed maps and concepts.