Redistricting and What It Means to YouMost people don't know what redistricting is, but it can have a great effect of us.
By: Alex O'Reilly, Sibley Scribe
Redistricting….What is it? You may have heard of it before, whether from the news, the newspaper, or even from your folks talking about it and how it’s going to greatly affect our schools, government, and even our everyday lives. If not, no worries because many people have no idea what it is and because you’re about to know a whole lot more about the topic. Redistricting, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State, is “redrawing the boundaries of election districts, and is done in the United States after the completion of the decennial census.”
Redistricting occurs every ten years, with the national census, and 2012 is a year for boundaries to change. You see, we, as residents of Independent School District 197 used to be in Congressional District (CD) 4 and had been represented at the federal level by Representative Betty McCollum, a Democrat. We have now moved Congressional District 2, represented at present by Representative John Kline, a Republican. The two main candidates running for the 2012 congressional election are Republican candidate John Kline and Democratic candidate Mike Obermeuller. Betty McCollum will be running in CD4, the one we used to be part of.
Some people say that the 4th congressional district is known for being liberal and the 2nd is known for being more conservative. Mike Obermeuller, 39, is an attorney and former Minnesota state representative from Eagan, while John Kline, 65 and in his fifth term, is chairman of the Education Committee in the House of Representatives. This may mean he could offer support and be a very helpful leader for our schools and all of Minnesota’s schools, though Obermeuller is concerned with Kline’s votes on cutting education spending and other deep spending cuts.
This is an exciting and important election for many reasons. It’s also important to be aware of these changes as residents of the towns and cities that are directly affected and will have to get to know new candidates.