+ Thursday Network: Hackathon 2017

Our amazing sponsors:

The Goal

To inspire young professionals to protect the voting rights of all Americans. This Hackathon will educate YPs about redistricting and gerrymandering, and propose data and technology-driven solutions and increase public awareness.

The Challenge

Develop an informative way for citizens to learn about redistricting and gerrymandering practices using maps, data, and successful, unsuccessful, and ongoing initiatives. Propose solutions, policies, and movements that will prevent marginalization of our voting rights.

The Agenda

Thu, July 20th: 6:30p-8:30p

July GBM Hackathon Kickoff

Learn all about redistricting, gerrymandering, and policy.

Fri, July 21st: 6:30p-10p

Mix and Mingle Social

Form your team meeting leaders in the community, and pitch your ideas while networking with TN.

Sat, July 22nd: 8a-6:30p

Hackathon: Un-hack the Vote

Full day to form your groups and start working on ideas, solutions, and proposals to pitch to the judges.


The Background

Redistricting is the process of redrawing district boundaries, and generally occurs when a state has more congressional representatives than districts. State representatives have 2 to 4- year terms, and the number of representatives per state increases with the increase of a state's population. Redistricting, however, only occurs every ten years alongside the national census. The next national census is in 2020.

Historically, the majority political party in the state legislature has used gerrymandering to influence the next ten years of electoral votes. Districts redrawn on the state level then affect which federal party representatives come into power.

Gerrymandering explained

The diagram below illustrates three ways of redistricting to control the outcome.

Why should you care?

Every ten years, following the national census, city council, state legislature and congressional district boundaries must be redrawn to reflect the nation’s shifting population. The way district boundaries are drawn after the national census affects the composure of the state and federal legislatures for multiple election cycles. It is critically important that districts are drawn to maximize fair community representation.

Do you know who draws the lines of your district and how this will affect your next election, the school system our children will belong to, or the interests of the community you live in? Do you know what options you have under the current rules – and how to change them?

Redistricting mostly takes place behind closed doors. Legislators and political consultants decide which streets or neighborhoods are in or out, specialists make the maps, and the public has little opportunity to weigh in. This opacity allows for districts to be drawn for political gain. We believe that this should change – that this process should be more transparent. We believe that by leveraging technology, citizens can be more involved.


The Iron Yard Washington DC
1341 G Street, NW
Floor 2
Washington, D.C., 20005

Nearest Metro Stations:
McPherson Square
Metro Center

Our Judges

Michal Migurski

Designer, Developer, and Creator of Visual Products and Spatial Software. Currently developing early-stage product direction for the transit planning platform Remix, Michal has also worked at Mapzen, as CTO for Code for America, technology head at Stamen, a studio focused on data visualization and map-making. He is also a prolific thinker and blogger and open source contributor who enjoy sharing things he has recently learned about legislative redistricting.

Belman Woodson

Technology Consulting Manager and Program/Project Management at Accenture. He focuses on Solution Architecture, Implementation and Strategy Development, as well as System Integration in Federal Practice.

German Lopez

Senior Reporter at Vox who covers a variety of topics including voting rights in America. He focuses on distilling complicated topics to in-depth explainers for a general audience.

Claudina Sarahe

Creative Creator + Tech at Composites Collective. Strategist and theorist exploring cybernetics, complexity, systems design and the vision of a more participatory government.

Contact Us

For all inquiries - media and otherwise - please contact the following information listed below:

Greater Washington Urban League - Thursday Network
2901 14th Street, NW
Washington, D.C., 20024