Coalition Aims To Increase Equity In N.M. Redistricting Process

Jul 16, 2021

Following last year’s Census, New Mexico lawmakers will redraw congressional and state legislative districts this fall. A coalition of community organizations has launched a campaign to ensure the public have a say in where those lines are drawn.

The Center for Civic Policy's New Mexico Civic Engagement Table is teaming up with 25 community organizations that work with people of color, immigrants and other underrepresented communities for the People’s Power, People’s Maps campaign. They say they want to make the redistricting process more just and equitable by educating and engaging the public. 

The organizations worked together last year to reach traditionally hard-to-count communities for the 2020 Census. Rosalinda Dorado, civic and outreach organizer with coalition partner El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos, says this follow-up is essential.

“Our work ensured the resources were allocated back into our communities,” she said of their Census outreach. “And now we are determined to be included and counted in redistricting.”

The campaign includes educational forums beginning July 22 covering topics from tribal redistricting to prison gerrymandering. 

Native American Voters Alliance Education Project Executive Director, Ahtza Chavez, says Black and Indigenous people of color need to have a voice at the table. 

“All we’re asking for is a fair process and fair maps that include communities of interest and BIPOC communities,” she said. “So that we can all prosper together in the state of New Mexico.”

The group also plans to launch a social media campaign and a central website for information.