Southern Echo completes 3 weeks of GIS training to build program to train redistricting demographers

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Southern Echo GIS TrainingJackson, MS – At the end of the first week of August 2009 six younger and older members of the Echo census and redistricting team completed an intensive hands-on 3-week training regimen in geographic information systems software to develop the analysis, tools and skills needed to train other younger and older demographers to support community-based redistricting efforts in 2011 and 2012. This 3-week training is the first phase of the team’s mapping training. A second phase of intensive hands-on training for team members is in the planning stage.

Team members learned to use the ESRI ArcGIS 9.3.1 software to draw state and county maps to highlight hard-to-count census tracts and to draw congressional, county and municipal level redistricting maps that meet the deviation requirements of one-person one-vote and the fair buy ativan without no prescription district requirements under the Voting Rights Act.

In the early summer 2010 team members will begin the training program for new activist demographers from other organizations in Mississippi and other southern and southwest states. In July 2009 grassroots community-based organizations from at least 12 states expressed interest in the possibility of activists from their respective states participating in 2010 in this demographer training program.

Brian Lipsett, Ph.D, a statistician and data analyst who heads Movementech, Inc. in Naples, ME, is a member of the Echo census and redistricting team and was lead instructor in the training. Lipsett, who comes out of the environmental justice movement where he did cutting edge studies of corporate polluters, has provided GIS training to Echo staff since 2001.