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Video sobre redistricting

Traducción Español

La forma de gobierno en Estados Unidos es una república democrática. A través de las elecciones, “contratamos” a personas para que nos representen en los varios niveles de gobierno. Ellos trabajan por nosotros, desde los concejales hasta el congreso federal.

La representación es esencial.

Las personas debieran sentirse representadas, o al menos que tenemos el mismo poder al decidir quién nos estaría representando.

Bajo esta forma de gobierno, nuestro mayor desafío es la tarea de dividir los votantes en distritos

Lo primero es que los distritos deben tener un número casi igual de personas.

No sería justo para las personas en el distrito si hubiera una gran diferencia de población entre un distrito congresional y otro.

Hay otras leyes: la Ley de Derechos de Voto, por ejemplo, prohíbe la discriminación contra las minorías. Si hay un barrio que es mayoría población negra, no se puede dividir la comunidad demasiado hasta el punto en la que sería difícil organizar la comunidad para tener representación en el congreso.

El distrito también debe mantener la integridad geográfica de las ciudades, condados, barrios y comunidades con un interés común. En California, los distritos deben ser “compactos”. No pueden tener una forma tan inusual que parecieran tener brazos y piernas. 

Pero las personas también se mudan a otras regiones. Cada 10 años, el gobierno hace un censo para llevar un conteo.

En California, una comisión independiente, bipartisana, y diversa tiene que analizar los datos y los borde s, y escuchar a la gente para trazar los nuevos bordes de distritos que cumplan con todos los requisitos.

En el 2010, por ejemplo, la ciudad de San Diego agregó un distrito de concejal número 9. El nuevo distrito combina el área de clase alta de Kensington con City Heights, la cual es una comunidad muy diversa con altas tasas de pobreza, 

Y transfirió el centro de la ciudad desde el Distrito 2 al Distrito 3. Esto resultó en un nuevo centro urbano dentro del Distrito 3, y el Distrito 2 se transformó esencialmente en un recinto costero.

Se necesitó mucha discusión y varios mapas para llegar a esta decisión.

Este año, con el nuevo dato del censo, y los Demócratas siguen ganando ventajas, el proceso para crear los nuevos distritos es menos partidaria. Pero eso no significa que tendremos menos desacuerdos sobre los distritos.

Habrán muchas conversaciones sobre cómo los nuevos bordes, incluyendo distritos escolares, concejales, y el congreso, tienen que ponerse en el interés de las comunidades con intereses y contextos sociales compartidos, y tienen que mejorar la representación en el gobierno, porque la representación es lo más importante de nuestra república y eso empieza con los áreas que nuestros representantes en el gobierno representan.

English Original

we live in a Democratic Republic the ideas that we hire people through Democratic elections to represent us in every government that serves us from the city council to the US Congress

 representation is key

people must feel like they’re being truly represented or that they at least have an equal say in who should represent them 

the most basic Challenge and responsibility, then, in this form of government, is the act of dividing us up into districts that should be represented 

first the districts must have roughly the same number of people 

it just would not be fair to one person if his congressional district had far more people than another person and there are other laws: the federal Voting Rights Act for example, prohibits discrimination against minority communities. if there’s a neighborhood that is primarily black for example it can’t be divided too much so that it is harder to organize for representation 

the district should also preserve the geographic Integrity of cities counties neighborhoods and communities of Interest 

In California districts are supposed to be compact. if they’re not drawn so weirdly that one neighborhood is in a different District than one right next to it but then a farther one is in the first one’s District.

But people move. every 10 years the federal government does a Census count to track that.

 in California bipartisan independent redistricting commissions are required to appoint a diverse group to look at the data and potential maps and listen to people so that they can come up with new District that follow all this criteria.

back in 2010 for example the city of San Diego added a 9th city council District 

it is of combining the affluent area of Kensington with City Heights an Incredibly diverse Community with high rates of poverty 

and it moved downtown from the district 2 representation to District 3 in created in urban Core in District 3 and a coastal neighborhoods district for district 2 

this required a lot of new maps and discussion 

this year as the new Census count comes to an end and Democrats continue to gain an advantage, redistricting is becoming less partisan. that does not mean though arguments about redistricting will stop. 

There will be many conversations about how new boundaries for everything from school districts to city councils to Congress should better serve communities with common interests and backgrounds and improve representation in government because representation is the heart of our Republic and it starts with what specific area government leaders actually represent

Traduccion Video2

Cuando miras este imagen, ¿qué ves?

Un caballito de mar? Un fantasma? Un boomerang?

Este es el distrito congresional número 7 de Massachussetts. Y estos otros.. son otros pequeños monstruos. Perdón, distritos.

Los distritos congresionales son áreas geográficas representados por un miembro de congreso.

Gerrymandering ocurre cuando el partido político que controla el gobierno manipula los distritos para asegurar las reelecciones de candidatos que ellos quieren que gane.

Para lograr esto, crean un distrito que consista de una mayoría de votantes que probablemente votarán por su partido. También dividen poblaciones que votarían en su contra, lo cual resulta en esta forma de Estegosaurio.

Esta práctica, Gerrymandering, lleva el nombre de Elbridge Gerry, quien era un político y uno de los fundadores de Estados Unidos. Se pronuncia Gary.

Gary era miembro del Congreso Continental en 1775, y fue uno de los firmantes de la Declaración de Independencia. También estuvo muy involucrado en crear la constitución, pero no lo firmó porque con su ideología anti-federalist, estaba opuesto a un gobierno federal con mayor poder. Según Gary, la constitución no presentaba un balance correcto de poder. El gobierno federal tenía demasiado poder, pensaba.

Gary se unió al partido Demócrata-Republicano. Sí, en ese entonces había un partido con ese nombre. En 1810, Gary fue electo como gobernador de Massachusetts. 

En estos años, Estados Unidos estaba a punto de entrar en guerra con Gran Bretaña. El partido de Gary creyó que era posible que los federalistas traicionaran la patria, y decidió manipular las elecciones para reemplazar todos los federalistas electos con un candidato del partido Demócrata-Republicano. Esto incluía manipular los distritos de Massachusetts. Los bordes originalmente coincidían con los condados, pero los cambiaron para beneficiar a su partido.

Un comentarista político dibujó una sátira política donde uno de los nuevos distritos creados por Gary, que parecía tener patitas, aparecía como una salamandra. “Es una gerry-mandra”, o gerrymander en inglés, dijeron.

El dibujo apareció en el diario local de Boston el 26 de Marzo de 1812. Desde entonces, Albert Garry sería conocido no como uno de los firmantes de la Declaración de Independencia, ni el arquitecto de la constitución, ni por ser el quinto Vicepresidente de los Estados Unidos. (Sí, también llegó a ser vicepresidente). Pero el legado de Garry terminó siendo la polémica práctica de distritos que lleva su nombre, aunque hoy en día lo pronunciamos como Jerrymandering, no Gerrymandering.

English Original

when you look at this picture, what do you see?

 disoriented seahorse a ghost woman, a boomerang 

this is actually Massachusetts 7th congressional district and these are… some other creatures, I mean districts 

congressional districts are Geographic voting areas represented by a single member of Congress 

gerrymandering happens when a political party in-charge carefully slices off voting districts so that the representatives they want to win, win 

They do this by drawing a district around the populations most likely to support them or splitting up populations less likely to support them making this outline of a Stegosaurus 

the practice is named for Massachusetts politician and Founding Father you’ve likely never heard of Elbridge Gerry 

yes it’s pronounced Gary 

elected to the Continental Congress in 1775 Gary signed the Declaration of Independence 

He was also very involved in shaping the Constitution but he didn’t sign that because as an anti-federalist he opposed a stronger federal government believing the Constitution got the balance of power all wrong 

Gary thought the federal government had way too much of it. 

Gary Eventually joined the democratic-republican party. yes that was a real thing.

 in 1810 at age 65 Gary was elected governor of Massachusetts.

 around this time the United States was edging toward war with Great Britain. Concerned that the Federalists might betray the country Gary’s party decided to find ways to replace every possible Federalist in office with a democratic-republican.

 this included changing Massachusetts districts from reflecting county lines to ones benefiting the Democratic Republicans.

 in the grand tradition of political satire an illustrator drew a picture of one of Gary’s new districts depicting it as a monster that supposedly looked like a salamander. no.. a gerrymander.

 the drawing ran in the Boston Gazette on March 26th 1812. from that year onward Elbridge Garry would be known not for signing the Declaration of Independence or helping to frame the Constitution or for being the fifth Vice President of the United States. yeah he did that too. Gary would instead be known for the controversial redistricting practice that bears his name even though we now pronouncement gerrymandering

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Extracting samples for CalScope study

The California Department of Public Health sent me an invite for a coronavirus study. I’m not sure what they are studying – distancing habits and infection rates? They have a blurb explaining the study in their website, which I couldn’t understand. Anyway I participated and here’s what it looked like:

I thought that the test data would be useless after I got the coronavirus vaccine, so there wasn’t much time left to get an “untainted” blood sample pre-vaccine. Got the invite around April 24 and I was set to receive my first vaccine dose on May 1, but somehow they managed to get me the test kits on April 30. So I did it right away.

The first problem was getting the test kit out of my mailbox. The test kit comes inside a sturdily built paper box, and they have participants re-use the box to mail the results back while protecting the paper from bending and stuff.

Turns out this box was barely the right size to fit inside the cubicle while the mailman has the rack open, but once they lock the rack and it’s my turn to pull the package, there’s an ever so tiny metal bezel that makes up the mailbox structure that makes it impossible to pull it out. I tried bending, rotating, squeezing… ended up ripping out the plastic, ripped the box, and only then was able to bend the box to pull it out of the mailbox.

Inside the box was a tracking barcode that I had to enter on the project website. That threw me off a bit. I already provided some information online while accepting the invite – do I need to enter it again? Maybe it’s for people who somehow didn’t provide info? So I ignored it and proceeded with the manual.

Going through it, it felt like a very complex cooking recipe with lots of steps. In retrospect it was actually pretty simple, but I felt I would be needing to look at each page as I go through the steps and generally there were a lot of steps about preventing blood sample contamination.

I thought that later on mid-procedure, if I had a bleeding finger and needed to turn pages, it was not gonna be very easy, so I ripped up the entire instructions booklet, and laid it out across the desk so that I could see the whole manual while doing it. I wouldn’t be able to see half of the booklet as it’s on the back side of each page, but that’s fine – I can use the Spanish language copies. (The manual came in English, Spanish, Tagalog, Chinese)

After struggling to understand how the overall process worked before starting, I finally followed the first instruction and pulled everything out of the plastic bags. Is this okay? They are so worried about sample contamination but just let you pull everything out before you know what you are not supposed to touch.

Then I saw the blood drop card and got excited that finally there was something easy to do – write age, sex and race! Easy stuff. Done. Then as I read further, I noticed that Step 4 specifically said “don’t touch the circles in the card”. Great. I think I touched the circles while writing, because I needed to open the flap to write on the Age line. I vaguely remember that I probably only touched circle 5, or 4 and 5… so hopefully it’s not too contaminated.

After disinfecting the finger, it was time to prick the finger and drop blood over the card. One thing that was weird was that the instructions said “prick your pinky finger”, which is finger #5, but the illustration showed finger #4. The needle shocked me because I needed to firmly push against the finger, and only after crossing some pressure threshold would the needle spring out of the thing and puncture the finger. Kinda scary. Anyway there’s blood coming out, okay with some aim.. the second drop (first drop is discarded probably due to contamination) fell a bit off from Circle 1. Not bad.

And then things went downhill.

There wasn’t much blood coming out after the second drop. As instructed, I massaged the finger down to push more blood to come out, but it just wasn’t gobbling up or anything – it was a pretty slow buildup. Also, the blood looked pretty viscose and it just was clinging to the finger for dear life and wouldn’t fall off. I wasn’t supposed to touch the paper – the instructions said let the blood naturally drop.

I figured it was time for more drastic measures – got up, and starting vigorously running in place to force more blood circulation. Ran for a bit, then massaged the finger. The problem is that while it was working, I couldn’t quite tell how long I had to run before stopping and carefully aiming above the card as the drop was about to fall. So I was doing short bursts of running then looking at the slightly bigger drop and trying to assess if it looked like it would fall off soon, then get back to the running.

Another thing that worried me was that massaging the finger using the other hand could potentially contaminate the sample if I ended up touching the stream of blood. My pinky finger is not very long – there isn’t much distance to “massage it down”. Also, by this point there was a lot of blood around the tip and I couldn’t remember the exact location of the puncture.

After two horribly aimed drops – the third one you see on the photo fell while I was shaking the finger to drop the blood – I just decided to try touching the card – I touched circle #5, which was a lost cause anyway. The touching revealed what the problem was: blood had coagulated already.

So I washed my hands, and went for the left hand’s finger #4 now. (I’m left handed, so I had started with right hand pinky.) Also, this time I wouldn’t puncture the middle of the fingertip. On my first finger, I didn’t like how the blood stream wasn’t growing right under the puncture – it had to travel the skin for a bit further down to coalesce at the edge of the tip, and from there it would fall. I felt I was losing some of the blood to liquid surface tension because of the skin distance to be traveled.

So some pre-prick running, then the puncture. Remembering how the prick was so sudden, I was very scared of applying force on the device. Can’t I just slowly stick a needle into the finger? It’s much more predictable that way. Although I understand this is needed to the keep the needle clean.. oh well.

I think I managed to keep more blood flowing from the lessons learned in the first finger. But everything was a drop hazard – running in place; massaging the finger; shaking the finger to force the drop to fall off. Eh this is good enough for a noscope 360 headshot. After I finally managed to completely fill two circles, I called it a day, dried it, packed it up and shipped it back.

Before packing it, I went to the website with my tracking code, and then I saw that they had an extensive survey that I had to complete online. One of the questions is “have you received the vaccine?”, so maybe vaccinated peoples’ data will also count as some form of comparison group. And after the survey, there was an online version of the paper manual but with videos that showed you how to massage your finger and stuff. I think at the end it didn’t matter that I saw the survey at the end, as the video lessons did not have new information that the paper didn’t. But I guess it would have helped me make a mental image of the procedure a bit more easily. The box didn’t say that the website needed to be done first – it just said “to get started, go here”. I guess the “to get started” was the clue that I missed.

I think this study is gonna end up with a ton of samples with methodological mistakes done during blood sampling – the researchers probably planned ahead for it and I wish them luck.

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