Leadership Park City program takes on redistricting with class project | ParkRecord.com

Leadership Park City program takes on redistricting with class project

Group asks residents to draw and submit political maps

Summit County has five representatives at the Statehouse, with the western side of the county split between three house districts. The Leadership Park City program is asking Park City residents to draw their own legislative maps as part of a class project.
Graphic by Ben Olson/Park Record

Leadership Park City, the community leadership program now in its 27th year, has announced its class project, and its aim is to address one of the hot-button issues currently facing Utah: redistricting.

The project, called “Every Voice Belongs: A Model for Inclusive Participation,” is intended to deepen connections and understanding across class and cultural divides throughout Park City, and hopefully, influence the redistricting process. The project will encourage participants to share their views and define their community boundaries so they can be considered when districts are redrawn.

State officials are in the middle of the once-a-decade redistricting process in which congressional and legislative boundaries for the next 10 years will be drawn.

Class members Eyee Hsu, Christine Coleman and Kris Campbell said when the class brought their project ideas together and voted, two stood out.

“The diversity, equity and inclusion starter guide (and) creating community connectedness,” Hsu said. “The creating community connectedness project was centered around using DEI principles to foster inclusive participation in the once-a-decade districting process. We thought there could be tremendous synergy between these two projects so we merged them under the ‘Every Voice Belongs’ umbrella.”

In past years, projects have supported public art, green building, water conservation, voter awareness and many other issues. Hsu said the timeliness of their “Every Voice Belongs” idea made the decision easy.

“Throughout this year’s leadership program, the importance of DEI has been emphasized by the class,” she said. “Every Voice Belongs reflects that equity and inclusion is a huge priority in our community, and that our community needs more opportunities for inclusive engagement.”

The leadership class hosted its first community input gathering over Zoom last week and will continue to hold them until the deadline for residents to draw their own maps and submit them to the group Oct. 22. The data collected through the project will be shared community-wide, and community-drawn maps will be shared with the Utah Independent Redistricting Commission.

“Our goals are to demonstrate how to prioritize and include diversity, equity and inclusion practices in our community, and to show that it’s critical and beneficial for everyone to get involved in important community processes like community districting,” Hsu said. “Every voice belongs and is needed in these conversations. We are a better, healthier community when we do the thoughtful, intentional work to include all voices.”

The project also includes the creation of what the class is calling an Equity and Inclusion Starter Guide, shared with all participants, which will provide tools they can use in the future to ensure that every voice counts in Summit County.

“The starter guide is a starting point for an organization or individual’s DEI journey,” Hsu said. “It’s a basic primer with information about the fundamental concepts of DEI and what our role as leaders are with equity and inclusion. This guide is meant to give someone who has interest in the topic to acquire some basic knowledge into DEI work.

“DEI work takes time and commitment, and the guide includes questions for one to reflect on their own perspective on these issues. The guide also provides additional resources for the reader to continue with their learning.”

The leadership class will hold community input meetings over Zoom Oct. 13 and 20. To learn more, or to sign up to attend a gathering, email leadershipPC27@gmail.com.

Editor’s note: Park Record photographer Tanzi Propst is a member of the Park City Leadership class.

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