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U.S. Supreme Court Considers the Idea of Representation‏

In December the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could forever change the way we view the political map. Evenwel v. Abbott, a case out of Texas, has the potential to upset the criteria for drawing state and local legislative districts so that districts would be determined by the total number of voters instead of total population. This case only affects state legislative districts as Congressional apportionment is covered in a different provision of the Constitution and would not be directly impacted.

Currently, state legislative districts are drawn using data collected by the Census Bureau and are based on the total number of people who live in a community or state. Total population includes not only voters, but also children, non-citizens and unregistered voters. If the plaintiffs in Evenwel v. Abbott win their argument, state legislative districts across the country would be considered unconstitutional, and practically all state legislative maps would need to be redrawn. The whole concept of representation would be changed and the influence of districts with significant numbers of children, non-citizens and unregistered voters–primarily communities with large minority populations–would diminish.

Changing the criteria for how we establish legislative districts in the states would not only have far reaching impacts on equal representation and geographic distribution of power, but it would put many states in limbo for years to come. The last time the Supreme Court considered the question of representation in the 1960s, it took nearly a decade to settle the matter through the court system. Moreover, there is no reliable measure available to determine the number of voters in a state – the Census directly counts total population, but citizens self-identify on voter registration questions during their surveys, making the data unreliable for so important a purpose. Lawsuits are sure to be filed soon if a decision in favor of the plaintiffs is reached with every state across the country challenging district lines. A decision in this case is expected by June 2016.

(Originally posted by Jessica Jones on 12/11/2015 on the League of Women Voters website)

HAVE YOU VOTED? EARLY VOTING ENDS TOMORROW, FEB. 23

You have until 6:00 pm on Tuesday, February 23rd to participate in early voting for the Primary elections to determine which Republican and Democratic local candidates run for Assessor of Property and Criminal Court Judge, Division II, and to choose your preferred presidential candidate. Locations and times are below. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!!

Brainerd Rec Center
1010 North Moore Road
Monday – Saturday 10am-6pm

Eastwood Church
4300 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road
Monday – Saturday 10am-6pm

Election Commission Office
700 River Terminal Road
Monday – Friday 8am-7pm
Saturday 9am-6pm

New Hixson Location
North River Civic Center
1009 Executive Drive, Suite 102
Monday – Saturday 10am-6pm

EARLY VOTING CONTINUES: FEB. 10th through FEB. 23rd

Did you know you can vote six days per week until as late as 6:00 pm?

Early Voting for the March 1st Presidential Preference Primary and the County Primary Election is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, February 10th and conclude on Tuesday, February 23rd.

March 1st Elections
Presidential Preference Primary Candidates
Voters will have the opportunity to vote for the Republican OR Democratic presidential candidate they like the best as part of the presidential candidate nomination process.

Assessor of Property
Democratic Candidates: Mark Siedlecki
Republican Candidates: Mary Haynes, Sterling Jetton, Randy Johnston

Criminal Court Judge, Division II
Democratic Candidates: No candidate qualified
Republican Candidates: Tom Greeholtz, Mike Little, Boyd Patterson

Our Early Voting locations are as follows:
Brainerd Rec Center
1010 North Moore Road
Monday – Saturday 10am-6pm

Eastwood Church
4300 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road
Monday – Saturday 10am-6pm

Election Commission Office
700 River Terminal Road
Monday – Friday 8am-7pm
Saturday 9am-6pm

New Hixson Location
North River Civic Center
1009 Executive Drive, Suite 102
Monday – Saturday 10am-6pm

Sample ballots can be found by following the link below:
http://elect.hamiltontn.gov/Home/News/tabid/1016/ArticleId/239/Sample-Ballots-for-the-Presidential-Preference-and-Hamilton-County-Primaries-are-now-online.aspx

Now is the perfect time to create an Election Day plan!

Use VOTE411.org to answer your questions about participating in any upcoming elections.

Do you need or want to vote before Election Day? Explore your state’s options to vote early or absentee in case you’ll be away from your polling place due to travel, work, school or other reasons.

Who represents your beliefs? Candidates for any office, at any level, are asking for the job of representing you. The decisions they’ll make in office will influence public policy for years to come. To learn where candidates stand on the issues important to you, watch or attend candidate debates and forums in your community and review voters’ guides put together by your local League of Women Voters.

Enter your address at VOTE411.org to build a personalized voting guide with the information you need to cast your ballot, including early and absentee voting options; voting locations; information on your ballot; and details on nearby candidate debates and forums, so you can hear directly from the candidates on the issues that matter most to you.

Early Voting for the March 1st Presidential Preference Primary and the County Primary Election is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, February 10th and conclude on Tuesday, February 23rd.

Our Early Voting locations are as follows:

Brainerd Rec Center
1010 North Moore Road
Monday – Saturday 10am-6pm

Eastwood Church
4300 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road
Monday – Saturday 10am-6pm

Election Commission Office
700 River Terminal Road
Monday – Friday 8am-7pm
Saturday 9am-6pm

New Hixson Location
North River Civic Center
1009 Executive Drive, Suite 102
Monday – Saturday 10am-6pm

HAMILTON COUNTY EARLY VOTING: FEB. 10 – FEB. 23

Early Voting for the March 1st Presidential Preference Primary and the County Primary Election is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, February 10th and conclude on Tuesday, February 23rd.

March 1st Elections
Presidential Preference Primary Candidates
Voters will have the opportunity to vote for the Republican OR Democratic presidential candidate they like the best as part of the presidential candidate nomination process.

County Primary Candidates
The individuals who obtain the most votes during the County Primary Election will advance to the County General Election to run against the other party’s nominee and any independents who qualified for that office.

Assessor of Property
Democratic Candidates: Mark Siedlecki
Republican Candidates: Mary Haynes, Sterling Jetton, Randy Johnston

Criminal Court Judge, Division II
Democratic Candidates: No candidate qualified
Republican Candidates: Tom Greeholtz, Mike Little, Boyd Patterson

For 2016, the commission had to seek an alternative to the Northgate Mall location due to increased development at the mall. Early Voting will remain in this area; however, it has been relocated from inside Northgate Mall to the North River Civic Center located just off the mall perimeter road between the U.S. Post Office and Northgate Library.

Our Early Voting locations are as follows:
Brainerd Rec Center
1010 North Moore Road
Monday – Saturday 10am-6pm

Eastwood Church
4300 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road
Monday – Saturday 10am-6pm

Election Commission Office
700 River Terminal Road
Monday – Friday 8am-7pm
Saturday 9am-6pm

New Hixson Location
North River Civic Center
1009 Executive Drive, Suite 102
Monday – Saturday 10am-6pm

Sample ballots can be found by following the link below:
http://elect.hamiltontn.gov/Home/News/tabid/1016/ArticleId/239/Sample-Ballots-for-the-Presidential-Preference-and-Hamilton-County-Primaries-are-now-online.aspx

TAKE ACTION – EDUCATION IS THE ANSWER! CHATT2.0

If you could move 8,000 Hamilton County adults out of poverty to a living annual wage, would you?

If you could close the skills gap between our potential workers and unfilled jobs, would you?

What would it take and where would you begin?

Today’s well-educated students become tomorrow’s successful workforce. One of the first questions prospective businesses ask when considering investing in our region? They ask about the quality of our schools. And as the focus on the skills gap between our workforce and available jobs becomes more apparent, it’s imperative that business leaders and employees take a leadership role on the community-wide team that tackles these issues.

Business, community and education leaders agree it’s time to work together to create measurable results. Chattanooga Times Free Press featured an economic development story focused on Chattanooga’s workforce development and the education pipeline that leads to living wage jobs. I encourage you to read the article, show up for planned community meetings and become engaged in our success. We’ve done this before as a community and we can do it again. Consider the alternative – losing our momentum and more importantly, losing another generation of students. We can’t afford to ignore our situation.

In the next 100 days, a broad-based community effort will begin. It will involve community listening sessions and action plans. And I encourage you to take a leadership role in championing our goal of improving our education and workforce outcomes. Change will not happen immediately and we expect some changes to take many years. But what happens if we don’t start at all?

Chatt2.0 has issued a 46-page research report that identifies the educational needs of our community to maintain Chattanooga’s economic success and improved quality of life. To download a free report and hear about future community conversations, visit chatt2..org. Be part of the solution!

Dialogues on Public Education – A Documentary Event

Thursday, February 4th 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
The Edney Building, 1100 Market St.

What would it mean to transform public education? What kind of education are kids in Hamilton County growing up with? A new documentary about local public education asks for your side of this story.

Come join a special film screening and help lead the public conversation around public schools in Hamilton County.

For the past year local independent filmmaker Robert Ashton Winslow has been tracking the big questions for Chattanooga’s future. During Part One he collected more than 60 interviews with community leaders, and now Part two invites the community to host these screening events for public conversation.

This public event on Thursday, February 4th from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm is co-hosted by the Public Education Foundation, UnifiEd, and the Hamilton County School District and will be held at The Edney Building on the corner of Market St. and 11th St.

Southern Dialogues is an independent documentary series produced by Chattanooga native Robert Ashton Winslow about civic life and changing times in the American South.

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