Redistricting can either strengthen or weaken the power of a party in the state overall.
The two most common practices are “packing” and “cracking” where voters of a particular party are either lumped together into a single district (packing) or split into an ineffective minority across several districts (cracking).
Gerrymandering is the practice of taking this to an extreme.
Some states have independent redistricting commissions with the aim of ending partisan gerrymandering,
Arizona, California, Michigan, Colorado, and others
And other states have partisan maps drawn by the party in power in the state legislature, gerrymandered to favor the party in power that got to draw the map:
Texas, Arizona, Illinois and others
Democracy FAQ >
About Democracy By Zip Code
About DemocracyByZipCode (.com)
November 10, 2022
Whew! The silent majority showed up and voted, especially young people. Voters rejected those who want to trash democracy. Perhaps the Trump brand of democracy bashing will finally end, and we will go back to fighting just the traditional bugaboos of gerrymandering and misinformation.
October 24, 2022
As we head into the 2022 midterm elections, democracy has never been more under threat.
One of the two major parties is run by a man who has made it clear he will refuse to accept any election results that do not declare him the winner.
Millions of Americans have fallen under the spell of this con man and supporting candidates who refuse to accept election results if they do not win.
it is up to real Americans who have not fallen under the propaganda of outlets like Fox News to turn out and vote in record numbers. Because the stakes have never been higher.
Because LegalConsumer.com promotes consumer rights, we are dedicated to removing from office politicians that show open contempt for consumer rights and workers rights.
Republicans want to eliminate the Consumer Finance Protection Board, which was created to keep consumers safe from the practices of predatory lenders and excessive bank fees. When Donald Trump was president, his choice to run the CFPB was a lobbyist for the payday lending industry!
Republicans are also enemies of personal freedom. Republican legislatures across the nation are itching to enact religious conformity laws that require all Americans to adhere the religious views of conservative white evangelicals, when it cones to birth control and reproductive rights.
America does not have an official religion, nor should it. That is not proper the role of the government. Republicans — who think that conservative white evangelical so-called "Christianity" is the only true religion — must be defeated.
It is critical that informed consumers hold their elected officials accountable.
So we make no apologies for our hope that Republican candidates are defeated at every opportunity, because LegalConsumer.com is here to support working people who earn their money from hard work — not lazy rich investors who make money by ripping off consumers and screwing workers, and stoke fear and confusion through propaganda outlets like Fox News.
January 20, 2020.
This website was started four years ago, on the day Donald Trump took office.
I recognized him as a threat to democracy from the moment i heard him speak. I launched this site to fight his attack on democracy.
Four years later I am in tears and proud say "Democracy Won!!!"
I'm proud to be an American today to see that democracy has prevailed, and we can consign the name and lies of the 45 POTUS to the dustbin of history. The lastest polls show that more that 2/3 of the public support the new President.
It is time to move forward with the task of making this nation great, and inclusive, and fair, and just.
Moreover it's time for us to seize the opportunity to tap into the great talent that this nation has to offer, if we just get the crushing weight of economic hardship off of the hardworking consumers who go to work every day and truly make this nation great.
I hope you can use this site to make your elected officials accountable to you and the issues you care about.
Another goal of this site is to be a web portal to groups that track legislation that you may be interested in. This site does not wish to replace the great work that other organizations have done to keep government accountable and accessible. Indeed this site is dedicated to making those websites even more accessible and well known.
Resist and defeat anti-democratic forces like gerrymandering and voter suppression
This site is also dedicated to breaking down the institutions and forces that rob us of our right to vote. Things like gerrymandering and voter suppression should be offensive to anyone who believes in the fundamental wisdom of democracy, and rule by the people, not just the powerful, entrenched interests.
.... this is a work in progress, a labor of love, for democracy
Finally, this site is very much a work in progress. We are gradually filling in data for the largest cites and counties in the country and are working to expand our body of detailed county and city information as the months go by.
Also, this site is dedicated to reform efforts that aim to increase and expand the voice of the common people, such as abolishing gerrymandering and resisting efforts to suppress voter turnout.
And yes, you can get here by typing DemocracyByZipcode.com into your browser, (but Google will penalize me if make that a live link!) -- it's easy to remember, so tell your friends!
Democracy is the Enlightenment idea, that the authority of government derives from "the consent of the governed" -- and NOT from any "divine right" from "God."
Royalty had always asserted that God was source of legitimate authority.
But to the Enlightenment era founders -- to the extent they agreed there was a God -- viewed it as a God that bestowed the right of Liberty on everyone, not Authority on one.
And therefore, the only legitimate form of government, is one where those "endowed with Liberty" that God gave them, give up some of that liberty to be controlled (i.e. "governed") by a government that "the governed" (the people) create and control.
Hence, this is how we get "civilized". Some organization is necessary to make and coordinate roads, water systems, sewers, libraries, schools, public transit, public safety....
And so we give up some liberty, pay taxes, and assessments, etc. for the convenience of collective action (e.g. making a town water system.)
But we can't let power get out of control.
We can't let those in power ignore the result of elections, for example.
The Enlightenment idea of Democracy, borrowed from the ancient Greeks, was the inspiration for the form of government we have in America today.
In a democracy, the power of the government exists and is granted power only by the consent of the people it governs.
The Constitution: The Blueprint for Our Democracy
The Constitution is the document that establishes and defines ("frames") the extent of government power, and establishes the framework of how it operates:
(via elected legislators (legislatures, assemblies,town boards) who create codes and laws and statutes,
courts (that make sure the law is followed and rule on ambiguous laws, and create caselaw ), and
via electedexecutives (governor, president, mayor, etc, who is charged with carrying out the laws of the jurisdiction (i.e. "executing" the laws and policies that have been created by the legislature, and create agencies that make regulations )
But, the power of our government ultimately begins and ends at the ballot box
When the Constitution was passed, most states only allowed white male landowners to vote. Nobody else had the right to vote. Renters, workers who didn’t own land, could not vote.
Then the 15th amendment extended the vote to Black men after the civil war. Women still could not vote.
In the 1800’s the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution did not give women a right to vote by virtue of their citizenship.
There are still today those who argue that the Constitution doesn’t necessarily guarantee a right to vote to anyone.
You can deny the vote to someone for any reason but race or sex.
‘As long as those rules aren’t violated, governments can deny the right to vote for whatever reason they want, pretty much.
Indeed, in the this term of the Supreme Court, the Court will hear a case on whether State Legislatures have absolute unfettered right to to create arbitrary rules about who gets to vote and who doesn’t. Or whether there’s even a right to vote at all. Should be an interesting case.
That is Democracy
Whether it's representative democracy or direct democracy, it's all ultimately dependent on voting for its legitimacy.
And if that vote is not free and fair, then the legitimacy of the government itself is undermined.
But if an election is open and fair and certified and one side refuses to accept the results, then democracy is over.
Republicans are increasingly saying that they will not honor election results if they don’t win.
If that happens, and the public does not rebel, then democracy is over.
We may be perilously close to seeing an end to American democracy in our lifetimes if election denialism (the new religion of the Republican Party) becomes the norm.
Without voting, and honoring election results, there is no democracy
Since democracy is about consent of the governed, it's important that ALL of the governed who are affected by that government get a right to vote on those who govern them. If that vote is denied, democracy suffers and...
Voting is under attack today...
There are those who would like to suppress your right to vote so they can remain in power.
This site is dedicated to fighting anti-democratic forces that are threatening the enlightenment ideal that this nation was founded on.
Democracy is too important an idea to just let it be stolen from us by powerful forces who find oversight of them inconvenient.
This site is dedicated to keeping America free, and government transparent, accountable, and free of corruption.
And that can only happen if we end gerrymandering and stop voter suppression.
PRESERVE and EXERCISE your right to VOTE, and have your vote counted!!!
That starts with confirming that your voter registration is current, up to date, and accurate, so that your vote will be counted in the 2022 midterm elections and the elections going forward.
Democracy FAQ >
What is representative government?
Representative government is the form of democracy, that as an alternative to "direct democracy" where everyone votes on everything, instead, the people vote for "representatives" (senators, representatives, assembly members) and an "executive" (mayor, governor, president), to join together to run the affairs of government. And, in some states, voters also elect or confirm the appointment of judges.
The house of "Representatives" and "Senators" or "State Assembly" are the people's representatives, who ultimately vote on making laws, etc.
While most democracies are "representative democracies," many states have an "initiative" process by which certain issues CAN be brought to voters for a direct vote, bypassing the normal channels of representative government.
In some states like California, very major laws have been enacted by the initative process.
And many states have legalized marijuana via the initiative process, rather than through representative government.
Democracy FAQ >
Who makes laws and regulations?
Legislators make laws. (I.e the “legislative branch” of government)
Administrative agencies, in the “executive branch”, (like the IRS, the FDA, OSHA, Medicare) make regulations.
Regulations are details about the laws that legislators have made.
Laws and legislation is made in legislative branch.
Not all legislation becomes law. In fact 90% of it never does. The vast majority of it never makes it out of committee.
Congress: the House and the Senate.
Once laws are passed, then it is up to administrative agencies to carry them out. These agencies are charged with writing "regulations". The IRS is one such agency. It makes tax regulations that go into detail about how the tax laws should be applied in specific situations. By definition regulations generally are more voluminous than the laws themselves. Because they go into more detail and cover more different specific situations.
Proposed Regulations: Your chance to give input at “public hearings”
When agencies are adopting regulations they often have hearings and have public comment about the regulations they are proposing. For example the FTC, the federal trade commission may propose trade regulations and have a period of public comment to discuss them.
The food and drug administration may propose policies about drug prices and have hearings about that.
You can get a full list of government agencies at LegalConsumer.com here.
State Laws and Regulations
In New Jersey things work pretty much the same way but the names of the legislative bodies might be different. For example, the house of representatives might be called an assembly in certain states. In some states the legislative branch only meets a few months a year. The job of the legislative branch is to create laws to deal with the problems of government.
County Laws and Regulations
Counties tend to have rules about what you can and cannot build, and building codes generally.
Every county has a board of some sort that sets an Agenda for board meetings to discuss things like:
the county budget,
whether funds should be allocated to some local public purpose, and
whether real estate development is allowed to proceed.
County bus lines and services
City and Township laws and regulations
Sale of Liquor or Marijuana
Democracy FAQ >
What is a city council? A county commission? A board of supervisors? And why should I care?