Policy Bits ~ 3 Things to Know & Watch This Week
Dec 14 – 20, 2015
~ Karly Malpiede Andrus

I.    Democrats Debunk ‘Bipartisan Move’ towards Statewide Redistricting ReformPolicy Bits112315

  • Democratic leaders decry continued efforts at statewide redistricting ballot measure they say will break up minority voting blocks in the state, and are blasting a Denver Post story to the contrary. There are three Democrats and 3 Republicans backing this effort but Democratic leadership insist it does not have their support. For one, the initiative lists priorities for maps in order of importance, with ‘preservation of “recognizable” communities of interest to include ethnic, cultural, economic, geographic and demographic factors’ dead last also, they feel the process has not been transparent spurring there response. Even those who advocate “truly independent redistricting” have expressed concerns over the process to date. http://goo.gl/xm3nWU
  • This affects everyone in the state and possibly the political environment at the General Assembly. It is important to remember that this is part of a national discussion about best practices on how to draw congressional districts.

II.   What is the Transportation and Health Tool?

  • The transportation and Health Tool (THT) was developed by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide easy access to data that practitioners can use to examine the health aspects of transportation systems. It provides data on a set of transportation and public health indicators for each state and metropolitan area that describes how the transportation environment affects safety, active transportation, air quality and connectivity to destinations. https://goo.gl/9Tv7qf
  • This tool should be of great help as we strive to better understand the intersection of issues in order to think outside the box about ways to leverage existing resources to affect new solutions. Further, identification of metrics to demonstrate the effectiveness of these solutions and their scalability can be measured against a benchmark data set, helping to satisfy a request from many funders for quantitative metrics.

III.  San Francisco’s Affordable Housing Crisis: The Board Game

  • The Bay Area is facing a growing housing affordability crisis but with the “Bay Area Regional Planner” game you and 2 to 12 friends can help identify solutions. Specifically, you and your friends get to decide where to zone for additional housing in order to double units over the next 2 decades – Get ready for some fun!  http://goo.gl/Q8W0LQ
  • A sad but enterprising example of what can happen when dedicated folks identify a problem in their community and aim to affect positive change by illustrating its affect.