HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The General Assembly's Reapportionment Committee on Friday announced plans to hold one virtual and three in-person public hearings later this month to gather input on redrawing Connecticut's legislative and congressional district boundaries.
Legislators noted the challenges the coronavirus pandemic has created in trying to reach as many people as possible, given various safety protocols.
“This has been a difficult go,” said Rep. Gregg Haddad, D-Mansfield, co-chair of the committee. Besides trying to find suitable locations, the panel's work has been delayed by the late release of U.S. Census data because of the pandemic.
The committee announced it will hear testimony from the public on Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Legislative Office Building; on Sept. 9 at 1 p.m. at Norwich City Hall; Sept. 13 at 1 p.m. at Shelton City Hall; and Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. during a virtual public hearing.
Some links to redistricting data have already been added to the committee's website, where members of the public can contact the panel by email. Haddad noted how the Census plans to release data in an easier-to-use format on Sept. 16 and he urged interested residents to take advantage of some third-party websites to come up with ideas for how Connecticut's districts should be redrawn.
Ten years ago, the previous redistricting, Haddad said there was just one computer set up inside the Legislative Office Building for members of the public to use to examine the data and try and redraw the maps themselves.
“We're well beyond that now. So anybody from their home computer can redraw a map using the same data that will be available to the committee,” he said. “And I think that's a real step forward and a leap forward in people's ability to submit information to us to consider. I hope they'll take advantage of this.”