OPEN Maps – the “Ohio Public Engagement in Neighborhoods” Mapping project

MGGG, in partnership with the Ohio State University’s Kirwan Institute for the Study for Race and Ethnicity, is excited to announce OPEN Maps, a participatory mapping project focused on gathering Community of Interest maps throughout Ohio.

A Community of Interest, or COI, is a group with significant shared interests that should be given careful consideration when drawing district boundaries. Prioritizing Communities of Interest is generally considered to be an essential ingredient of fair redistricting but, in practice, it is prohibitively difficult to implement without local community knowledge.

This spring, the Ohio Organizing Collaborative will work with grassroots organizations to spearhead a map collection effort. Our goal is to collect community maps from all over the state, making sure to amplify the voices of marginalized groups, and then summarize our findings for the line-drawers to use when they make new maps. Ohioans can use Districtr, the free community web tool developed by MGGG, to draw COIs, mark important places, and write narratives about community needs.

Register for one of our weekly training sessions if you want to learn more about Communities of Interest and how you can use Districtr to share your maps. Reach out to Districtr@mggg.org if you want to become a community partner!