Congressional Redistricting – USA Status Report Event


Congressional Redistricting – A Status Report

July 18, 2011

Event Summary

The drawing of legislative district boundaries is arguably among the most self-interested and least transparent systems in American democracy. Every ten years redistricting authorities, usually state legislatures, redraw congressional and legislative lines in accordance with Census reapportionment and population shifts within states. Most state redistricting authorities are in the midst of their redistricting process, while others have already finished redrawing their state and congressional boundaries. A number of initiatives—from public mapping competitions to independent shadow commissions—have been launched to open up the process to the public during this round of redrawing district lines.
On July 18, Brookings will host a panel of experts to review the results coming in from the states and discuss how the rest of the process is likely to unfold. Panelists will focus on evidence of partisan or bipartisan gerrymandering, the outcome of transparency and public mapping initiatives, and minority redistricting.

After the panel discussion, participants will take audience questions.



Thomas E. Mann,
Senior Fellow, Governance Studies

Thomas E. Mann is the W. Averell Harriman Chair and senior fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution. Between 1987 and 1999, he was director of Governmental Studies at Brookings. Before that, Mann was executive director of the American Political Science Association.

Born on September 10, 1944, in Milwaukee, he earned his B.A. in political science at the University of Florida and his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Michigan. He first came to Washington in 1969 as a Congressional Fellow in the offices of Senator Philip A. Hart and Representative James G. O’Hara.

Mann has taught at Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, the University of Virginia and American University; conducted polls for congressional candidates; worked as a consultant to IBM and the Public Broadcasting Service; chaired the Board of Overseers of the National Election Studies; and served as an expert witness in the constitutional defense of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. He lectures frequently in the United States and abroad on American politics and public policy and is also a regular contributor to newspaper stories and television and radio programs on politics and governance.

Mann is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a recipient of the American Political Science Association’s Frank J. Goodnow and Charles E. Merriam Awards.

Mann’s published works include Unsafe at Any Margin: Interpreting Congressional Elections; Vital Statistics on Congress; The New Congress; A Question of Balance: The President, the Congress and Foreign Policy; Media Polls in American Politics; Renewing Congress; Congress, the Press, and the Public; Intensive Care: How Congress Shapes Health Policy; Campaign Finance Reform: A Sourcebook; The Permanent Campaign and Its Future; Inside the Campaign Finance Battle: Court Testimony on the New Reforms; The New Campaign Finance Sourcebook; and Party Lines: Competition, Partisanship and Congressional Redistricting. He has also written numerous scholarly articles and opinion pieces on various aspects of American politics, including elections, political parties, Congress, the presidency and public policymaking.

He is currently working on projects dealing with redistricting, election administration, campaign finance, and congressional performance. He and Norman Ornstein recently published an updated edition of The Broken Branch: How Congress is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (Oxford University Press, 2008).
Mann resides in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife Sheilah, who is also a political scientist. They have two children, Ted, formerly an assistant curator at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and now a graduate student in the NYU Institute of Fine Arts, and Stephanie, a marketing manager at Clorox in Oakland, California.

Anita Earls

Executive Director
Southern Coalition for Social Justice

Michael P. McDonald

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Governance Studies

Norman Ornstein

Resident Scholar
American Enterprise Institute

David Wasserman

House Editor
The Cook Political Report

Event Information


Monday, July 18, 2011

10:00 AM to 11:30 AM


Falk Auditorium
The Brookings Institution
1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC



Event Materials

Reuters/Jim Young

Contact: Brookings Office of Communications


Phone: 202.797.6105


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