Watching the testimony of my state senator got me wondering about how my district was set up. My representative (Strahorn) was obviously a big-city type, but I live in a town of 20,000 surrounded by farms.
My district consists of Miami County Ohio, part of Darke County, the part of Montgomery county containing Dayton, and a little corridor to connect Dayton to Miami county
Miami county has a total population of 98,000, Population density is 243 per square mile. and the biggest city is Troy at 21,000
Darke County has a population of 53,000, density of 89 per square mile. Its largest city is Greenville, with a population of 13,294 The district border includes only part of Greenville.
The city of Dayton has a population of 166,000, with a population density of 2852 per square mile. Dayton is very much a commuter town--lots of businesses, and low-end housing, but with the majority of middle- and upper-class housing in the surrounding suburbs. I can't see the exact boundaries on the Senate district map, but it appears to be effectively Dayton and a narrow corridor to Miami County, without any of the more affluent suburbs.
I'm very curious how areas so mismatched in demographics, population density and geography came to be considered one district, with the urban portion having such a clear majority.
We really need to find some way to impartially create districts, rather than whoever has power getting to draw them. Unfortunately I can't think of any good way to do this, because even if it is done through a computer program, the initial parameters are subject to bias
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