The practice of gerrymandering–dividing election districts in ways that favor a particular group–has been around since our nation’s founding. But does it make districts “safe” for one party or the other, in turn, pulling Democrats and Republicans to extremes, or has its impact been overblown? It’s been in the spotlight recently with the Supreme Court putting two gerrymandering cases on its docket this term, and news that President Obama will take up redistricting reform as a post-presidency priority. And on Monday, November 14th, Intelligence Squared U.S. will take on this issue in the nation’s capital, debating the motion, “Gerrymandering Is Destroying the Political Center.”
Debating in the support of the motion are David Daley, former editor-in-chief of Salon, and Caroline Fredrickson, president of the American Constitution Society and a former Clinton administration official. Opposing the motion are Nolan McCarty, a politics professor at Princeton, and Chris Jankowski, who as Executive Director of REDMAP was widely credited with helping Republicans win in a 33-seat margin in the 2012 elections.
Presented in partnership with the National Constitution Center, the debate will be held at DC’s George Washington University and stream live online, then air soon after as part of the syndicated public radio show and podcast “Intelligence Squared U.S.” On November 14, online viewers can tune in here (http://bit.ly/GerrymanderingDebate).
WHAT: Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates “Gerrymandering Is Destroying the Political Center”
WHEN: Mon, November 14, 2016 / Debate 6:00-7:30 PM
WHERE: George Washington University / Jack Morton Auditorium / 805 21st Street NW / Washington, DC
TICKETS: $30 (free for students w/ ID). To purchase, visit http://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/
Arguing for the motion:
* Caroline Fredrickson: President, American Constitution Society & Author, Under the Bus
Caroline Fredrickson joined the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) in 2009 and serves as president. She is author of Under the Bus: How Working Women Are Being Run Over (2015). Before joining ACS, Fredrickson served as the director of the ACLU’s Washington legislative office and as general counsel and legal director of NARAL Pro-Choice America. In addition, Fredrickson was chief of staff to Sen. Maria Cantwell and deputy chief of staff to then-Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle. During the Clinton administration, she served as special assistant to the president for legislative affairs.
* David Daley: Publisher, Connecticut Mirror & Author, Ratf**ked
David Daley is the publisher of the Connecticut Mirror, former editor-in-chief of Salon, and the Digital Media Fellow for the Wilson Center for Humanities and the Arts and the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia. He is the author of a best-selling book on the modern politics of gerrymandering, Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy. He has also been an editor at the Louisville Courier-Journal, Details magazine, and a reporter and editor at the Hartford Courant.
Arguing against the motion:
* Chris Jankowski: Republican Strategist & former Executive Director, REDMAP Project
Chris Jankowski is a leading Republican strategist in state elections, state policy issues, and state government. In 2010 Jankowski served as the executive director of the REDMAP Project at the Republican State Leadership Committee. This project was a strategic effort to win Republican control of state legislatures immediately prior to the decennial redrawing of Congressional district lines. Under Jankowski’s direction, Republicans gained control of twenty additional legislative chambers and saw a net gain of approximately 700 state legislative seats. REDMAP is widely credited with providing a strategic advantage in the 2012 Congressional elections, resulting in a 33-seat Republican margin in the 113th Congress.
* Nolan McCarty: Professor of Politics, Princeton University & Author, Political Bubbles
Nolan McCarty is the Susan Dod Brown Professor of Politics and Public Affairs and chair of the Department of Politics at Princeton University. He was formerly the associate dean at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. His research interests include U.S. politics, democratic political institutions, and political game theory. He is the recipient of the Robert Eckles Swain National Fellowship from the Hoover Institution and the John M. Olin Fellowship in Political Economy. He has co-authored three books: Political Game Theory, Polarized America: The Dance of Ideology and Unequal Riches, and Political Bubbles: Financial Crises and the Failure of American Democracy.
ABOUT INTELLIGENCE SQUARED U.S. DEBATES (IQ2US)
A non-partisan, nonprofit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in 2006 to restore civility, reasoned analysis and constructive public discourse to today’s often biased media landscape. The award-winning debate series reaches over 30 million American households through multi-platform distribution, including radio, television, live streaming, podcasts, interactive digital content, and on-demand apps on Roku and Apple TV. With over 120 debates and counting, Intelligence Squared U.S. has encouraged the public to “think twice” on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated IQ2US since 2008. The executive producer is Dana Wolfe.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL CONSTITUTION CENTER
The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia inspires citizenship as the only place where people across America and around the world can come together to learn about, debate, and celebrate the greatest vision of human freedom in history, the U.S. Constitution. We serve as America’s leading platform for constitutional educational and debate, fulfilling our Congressional charter “to disseminate information about the U.S. Constitution on a non-partisan basis.” As the Museum of We the People, we bring the United States Constitution to life for visitors of all ages through interactive programs and exhibits. As America’s Town Hall, we bring the leading conservative and liberal thought leaders together to debate the Constitution on all media platforms. As a Civic Education Headquarters, we deliver the best educational programs and online resources that inspire, excite, and engage citizens about the U.S. Constitution. For more information, call 215-409-6700 or visit constitutioncenter.org.