Draw the Lines is the podcast that's out to slay the gerrymander, digging deep into the political abuse that's at the root of a lot that's wrong with our government. Based in Pennsylvania, it's part of the biggest public mapping initiative in the nation's history. Draw the Lines aims to prove that regular voters are ready, willing and able to play a bigger role in drawing election maps. The host is Chris Satullo, a former public radio executive, newspaper columnist and nationally known expert in civic dialogue. The producer is Joel Patterson, a public radio veteran who's worked on popular shows such as Marketplace and The Pulse.
Episode 6 — And a Child Shall Lead Them: Kyle Hynes Schools His Elders
Never been a competition quite like it. When Draw the Lines PA set out to prove that regular folks could draw election maps better than the political pros, many scoffed. Other shrugged. They hadn’t met Kyle Hynes, a 16-year-old from the place known as Happy Valley, who knows more about the Voting Rights Act than plenty of congresspeople. Hynes won $5,000 for his congressional map of Pennsylvania, becoming a star of the biggest public mapping contest in the nation’s history. He’s a walking, talking rebuke to the notion that only expert partisans can draw election districts.
Episode 5 - From Snowball to Avalanche: Carol Kuniholm Steps Up
When Carol Kuniholm stood up in a Philadelphia church on frigid evening in January 2017, she didn’t feel she was about to launch a movement. She just felt deep stage fright. Then, she started talking. And, with every word she told that packed sanctuary, the gerrymander got a little less secure in his lair. If you can slay the gerrymander in one of America’s most reform-allergic states, you can do it anywhere. Kuniholm hasn’t finished the quest yet, but she’s not done trying.
Episode 4: Gerrymander Never Knew What Hit It - Ben Geffen Saves America
OK, we exaggerate somewhat. But Ben Geffen was a key player on the legal team that won the first court case that overturned for good a notorious 2011 gerrymander. Geffen’s tale takes you behind closed doors to learn how a band of determined citizens and public-interest lawyers stunned political insiders. They used a novel legal theory to convince the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to toss out the state’s notorious, “Donald Duck kicks Goofy” congressional map. The new map put in its place then fueled the “blue wave” of the 2018 mid-terms.
Episode 3: From Ratf***ed to Unrigged: David Daley Discovers Hope
David Daley wrote the book on how gerrymandering undermines democracy. He gave it a profane title and a depressing epilogue tinged with despair about America’s future. He’s got a new book now. In it, he joyfully details how the final chapter of his earlier book is being proved wrong. Let Daley take you on a journey across America - from Michigan to Utah, from Virginia to Idaho - to meet the everyday heroes whose savvy, DIY activism is spreading the fire of reform.
Episode 2: For the Love of Mike: Bryan Miller Fights Back
Gerrymanders aren’t just wacky lines on a map. By empowering ideologues and special interests, they thwart the common-sense solutions to tough issues that are favored by strong majorities of Americans. Gun violence protection is one such issue. Meet Bryan Miller, whose quest to redeem the murder of his brother Mike led him to big successes in one state capitol, but defeats and frustration in another. The difference between the two buildings, just a hundred miles apart: gerrymandering.
Episode 1: Dude, Who Stole My Seat? Jason Altmire Hunts Answers
Jason Altmire was the chief victim of the Pennsylvania’s Great Gerrymander of 2011. In this episode, he explains how he lost a seat in Congress after three terms through diabolically subtle line-drawing, aimed at setting him up to lose his own party’s primary. He also lays out vividly how gerrymandering is causing the slow death of the center in our national politics.