She railed against gerrymandering in an epic tweetstorm. We should all listen.

"Anyone got a minute to talk about gerrymandering?" Laura Moser, a candidate running for the 7th Congressional District seat in Texas, asked her Twitter followers on Dec. 3, 2017.

Candidate Laura Moser. Photo courtesy of Laura Moser for Congress.

Gerrymandering may sound like a silly term coined in an episode of "Seinfeld," but as Moser explained, it's anything but.


In a fiery tweet thread following her initial question, Moser spelled out why gerrymandering is, to be frank, the absolute worst.

Moser's district in Houston — like many across the U.S. — has been heavily gerrymandered. That's why its voting boundaries look like this:

To be sure, as Moser pointed out, there are even more bizarrely shaped districts across the country. Take this one in Chicago, for example.

Then there's the entire state of North Carolina, which gerrymandering's turned into the weirdest blue-and-red jigsaw puzzle imaginable.

But Moser's own 7th District in Texas is still pretty bad.

Not every odd-looking boundary is suspicious, of course. Naturally formed borders like rivers may alter district boundaries a bit, Moser explained.

But when specific blocks within neighborhoods have been redrawn to conveniently slip into different districts? It makes you wonder, she tweeted, "Why ... is one block of Linkwood Drive excluded from the district?"

"Or here, in my neighborhood of West University: why are half of Pemberton and Fenwood in a different district?" she asked.

Like, honestly, Houstonians, what is happening with Jersey Village? As Moser pointed out, things there are getting "pretty baroque."

Nope, a drunk guy didn't map out the 7th District in Houston (or any of these other districts).

"If it seems like whoever drew these lines must have been drunk, think again: this is part of a very calculated campaign," Moser tweeted.

And race (read: racism) has a lot to do with it.

Gerrymandering has the potential to significantly dampen the political power of neighborhoods of color (or those that are poor or younger).

This is how it works:

Basically, gerrymandering is the manipulation of voting district boundaries by politicians to give their party an advantage on Election Day. In other words, politicians can quietly redraw district lines to consolidate or split up certain voting blocs — based on race, religion, socioeconomic status, education level, etc. — to favor their own candidacy or party.

Both parties are guilty of applying this trickery. But the GOP has held majorities across most state legislatures where district boundaries are decided since 2010, and they've abused this ethically challenged privilege far more than their Democrat counterparts.

Take Wisconsin, for example. After Republicans in control there redrew district lines in 2011 — packing left-leaning voters into certain areas when it was politically advantageous, then spreading them out when it wasn't — a court ruled the actions were an attempt to cement an electoral infrastructure favorable to the GOP.

The proof's in the pudding, after all: In the Wisconsin election held after the new district lines went into effect, Republicans won just 48.6% of votes for the state assembly, yet still earned a 60-to-39 seat majority.

The Supreme Court heard arguments for the case in October 2017. The court's decision will likely affect gerrymandering laws for decades to come.

In Houston, Moser argues, "minority" voters are being corralled into districts to give Republicans a larger advantage.

"But WE ARE THE MAJORITY. In Texas and in the nation," she wrote. "The majority of decent Americans who believes in fairness, in treating people with respect."

Her Twitter thread struck a chord with many voters concerned about how gerrymandering will affect votes in Houston — and the rest of the country. As of this writing, the thread has been retweeted nearly 17,000 times.

Moser credits the tweet's virality to people waking up to an increasingly rigged system.

"I hope we can start fighting for the most basic of principles, one that everyone, regardless of party or region, race or income, can agree on: every American should have an equal vote," she says. "If we want citizens to get involved in our democracy, we better make sure it really is a democracy."

True
Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

Keep Reading Show less

Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather has become a beloved voice of reason, knowledge, and experience for many Americans on social media the past few years. At 88, Rather has seen more than most of us, and as a journalist, he's had a front row seat as modern history has played out. He combines that lifetime of experience and perspective with an eloquence that hearkens to a time when eloquence mattered, he called us to our common American ideals with his book "What Unites Us," and he comforts many of is with his repeated message to stay "steady" through the turmoil the U.S. has been experiencing.

All of that is to say, when Dan Rather sounds the alarm, you know we've reached a critical historical moment.

Yesterday, President Trump again refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the election when directly asked if he would—yet another democratic norm being toppled. Afterward, Rather posted the following words of wisdom—and warning—to his nearly three million Facebook fans:


Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


via msleja / TikTok

In 2019, the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada instituted a policy that forbids teachers from participating in "partisan political activities" during school hours. The policy states that "any signage that is displayed on District property that is, or becomes, political in nature must be removed or covered."

The new policy is based on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2018 Janus decision that limits public employees' First Amendment protections for speech while performing their official duties.

This new policy caused a bit of confusion with Jennifer Leja, a 7th and 8th-grade teacher in the district. She wondered if, as a bisexual woman, the new policy forbids her from discussing her sexuality.

Keep Reading Show less

There are very few people who have had quite as memorable a life as Arnold Schwarzenegger. His adult life has played out in four acts, with each one arguably more consequential than the last.

And now Schwarzenegger wants to play a role in helping America, his adopted home, ensure that our 2020 election is safe, secure and available to everyone willing and able to vote.

Shortly after immigrating to America, Schwarzenegger rose up to become the most famous bodybuilder in history, turning what was largely a sideshow attraction into a legitimate sport. He then pivoted to an acting career, becoming Hollywood's highest paid star in a run that spanned three decades.


Keep Reading Show less