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Help Support Dave's Redistricting App

by: DavidNYC

Sun May 01, 2011 at 9:24 PM EDT

(Bumped - promoted by DavidNYC)

Guys, it's time to shell out to help Dave's Redistricting App. I mean it.

For two years, countless Swingnuts have drawn innumerable maps using Dave's App, which filled a huge void in an enormously crucial way. Indeed, as we wade further and further into redistricting season, it's almost impossible to imagine what things would be like without the app. If it weren't for one man's vision, energy, talent, and dedication, we'd still be mucking around with Microsoft Paint. In short, Dave's has been a total game-changer for us, and we owe him a great deal.

Until now, we haven't had a good way to show our appreciation for Dave's generosity, but fortunately Dave's app recently became a project of Progressive Congress - and we can support his efforts through his new partner to improve and expand the app. As Dave himself explained:

This means that more members and visitors of Progressive Congress will get to know about DRA and that more users of DRA will get to know about Progressive Congress. This means that the Progressive Congress team will be providing advice and guidance for DRA. (Some of Darcy [Burner]'s suggestions have already been included in the app, in fact.) This means that Progressive Congress and DRA will be teaming up to help you better understand what's going on with redistricting and what you can do about it. And this means working together to make government better for the people!

In seven-and-a-half years of running SSP, I don't think I've ever solicited money for anyone or anything other than Democratic candidates running for office. This is going to be my one big exception, and I'm going to be blunt here:

If you've ever drawn a map with Dave's App, or enjoyed a diary that featured maps drawn with the app, you need to plunk down some change to support Dave.

It's important that we support Dave's hard work over the last two years and his continued work in the future, so any amount is appreciated. I know you can skip Starbucks for a week to find $5 or $10. (If a monetary contribution is genuinely beyond your means, then you should contact Dave to see how you can help with adding new data to the app.) And here's a nice side-benefit: All contributions are tax-deductible.

I just threw down $100, and I hope everyone else here joins in. While there are many things which have made the Swing State Project a great site, I think it's safe to say that Dave's Redistricting App is definitely one of them, and I'm proud to support him. I hope you'll do the same.

UPDATE: I just got a report from Progressive Congress, and we've raised $590 from 18 people so far. I'd love to hit $600 and 20 donors. Who can put us over the top?

DavidNYC :: Help Support Dave's Redistricting App
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Darcy Burner is on the project?
Like, WA-08 Darcy Burner?

DRA is truly a gift to political geeks. I'm a jobless college student and I can't cough up much money, but I'll try to cough up some change :)

21, dude, RI-01 (registered) IL-01 (college)
please help Japan. click "donate funds" in upper right and then "Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami."

WA-08 keeps coming up much more Democratic for me. :D

[ Parent ]
No doubt it's been a serious time sink for me
But it is seriously useful. This is a totally fair ask.  

i'm saving
all my money for college right now, but i might send a bit to the app anyways.  although it may have hurt my grades a bit this past year :P

this is possibly the best thing ever created for politics in the last century, since the 17th amendment.  let's contribute :)

on a related note, when will other states' political data be up

18, Dem, CA-14 (home) CA-09 (college, next year). social libertarian, economic liberal, fiscal conservative.   Everybody should put age and CD here. :)

Roguemapper made it sound like
AZ, IL, MN, and NV will be up sometime in the next few days.

21, dude, RI-01 (registered) IL-01 (college)
please help Japan. click "donate funds" in upper right and then "Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami."

[ Parent ]
I agree about the need of hellp David

To help now for having better districts can be more important than help later to some single candidate in a bad new district.

Donated without a second thought
Keep up the great work, Mr. Bradlee. (And here's to getting Puerto Rico and some more election data in the app!)

20, center-left independent, Auckland Central resident, MD-05 voter, OR-01 native

Hi Everyone
First, David, thanks do much for your kind words. I really appreciate it. And I want to thank you, the community here at SSP, for the wonderful feedback you've given me on this project for 2 years. Having an engaged user community has helped me direct my energies and improve the app.

And about more election data, I've just this week gotten data for a few states from someone and I'll be working on that over the next few days, making sure it's reasonable and getting it enabled.

And, I'm also working on making the app much better for Legislative and County redistricting. That's a couple of weeks away (maybe sooner), but I have some of the basics working on my machine and I'm very excited about it.

Thank you.

That's me!
My data is rock solid, but I certainly endorse your verifying its validity. I would no doubt do the same.

I use at least a half dozen methods of confirming the validity of the data itself and the accuracy of my transferring it to the csv files. I would be somewhat shocked if an error has slipped by.

In short, if you have any questions then please contact me by email. There will be places where the data may seem odd, such as a precinct in Chicago's 23rd Ward where a major housing project was shut down between 2008 and 2010 (as I verified with the Chicago Elections Board). The 2008 vote figures therefore significantly exceed the 2010 population count. What it comes down to is: If there's an apparent issue then I almost surely have an explanation.

I have kept records of everything I did to match up the election data with the census voting districts, so it should be easy to go back if anything needs to be followed up. I am rather obsessive in my methodology. If I weren't, I could proceed much faster..

And thanks again for the great Redistricting App!

[ Parent ]
That explanation makes sense
although I would have preferred to think of it as the Obama machine ginning up strong turnout among those in the afterlife (Chicago's specialty). :)

21, dude, RI-01 (registered) IL-01 (college)
please help Japan. click "donate funds" in upper right and then "Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami."

[ Parent ]
You're a hero...
As is Dave. Great work, guys.

20, center-left independent, Auckland Central resident, MD-05 voter, OR-01 native

[ Parent ]
I don't know about all that! I'm just good with maps.

BTW, I seem to recall that you had requested Oregon. That would be relatively easy, except that for whatever reason the Redistricting App only has Oregon available by block group, not by voting district. I've compared the block group maps to the precinct maps for several counties and they're not remotely close.

I seem to vaguely recall that there was some kind of data problem with the Oregon census data being added to the App. Whatever the case, so long as only block groups are available on DRA, there's no way for me to do Oregon with any kind of precision or reliability (unless someone has election data by block group, which is unlikely).

Otherwise, Oregon would be easy & I would've done it already.

[ Parent ]
No worries
Redistricting in Oregon is legally required to be nonpartisan, and it should be done within a month or two.

20, center-left independent, Auckland Central resident, MD-05 voter, OR-01 native

[ Parent ]
Thank you
The Illinois data looks great and is now uploaded. I'm going to do a quick diary. I'll work on the other states tomorrow. Thanks!

[ Parent ]
Thank you!

21, dude, RI-01 (registered) IL-01 (college)
please help Japan. click "donate funds" in upper right and then "Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami."

[ Parent ]
The data is all kinds of screwed up
the precincts aren't matching up at all.  

[ Parent ]
Hm, I have no credit card, those are actually
pretty rare in Germany. I'd throw in something if I did, is there any other way to make a donation?

Also, as this is a DRA-related topic, I still hope someone can help me out with my technical problems, as I can't open the app anymore.

My Silverlight version is  up to date and works fine with every other Silverlight app, passes the online Microsoft test, it's not browser related as it works neither with Firefox nor Chrome nor IE (shudder), and it's like that for two weeks or so now.

18- Hamburg, Germany (non-US-citizen)

Really kind of you
You can also send a check. The information is here:

If you would prefer to donate by check, please make it out to, 209 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003.

If you do that, I'd just include a note saying you're earmarking it for Dave's app.

As for the issues you've been having, that is just plain weird, particularly because it keeps happening in two different browsers. Are you on PC? I'd suggest using Revo Uninstaller (it's free) to completely uninstall your browsers (might as well do both) as well as Silverlight. Be sure to do the extra cleaning advised by the program. (I'd use "moderate" level.) Then reinstall everything.

If that doesn't work, you may have some unknown mysterious program somehow interacting with your browser or silverlight - hopefully not a virus. (I assume you've run an anti-virus program and anti-spyware/malware program.) You may be in full Windows re-install territory then.

If you're on a Mac, it's not as likely to help, but you can try uninstalling there as well. Use a free program like TrashMe to clean the bits and pieces that OS X leaves behind.

[ Parent ]
Hmm, is there an unknown mysterious program out there
that's specifically out to target Dave's Redistricting app? Because, as I've said, everything else that I do with Silverlight works absolutely fine, livestreams et. al.

But I'll try running your program.

18- Hamburg, Germany (non-US-citizen)

[ Parent ]
Sorry, I missed that
You may want to try emailing Dave then, to see if he can help, before you take more drastic steps like uninstalling stuff.

[ Parent ]
Fixed it myself. Deleted the stored DRA data
now it works fine again. I have no idea what the issue was.

18- Hamburg, Germany (non-US-citizen)

[ Parent ]
Probably tricky to negotiate a Euro denominated
check. I assume they can run any card (credit or debit) with a Visa or Mastercard symbol, but their web form is US-limited.  

[ Parent ]
My job forbids me from making any political contributions. I don't think I could get away with donating to something called even if the money were earmarked for Dave's app.

41, Ind, CA-05

It's a 501(c)(3) and PC's site says "The funds cannot be used for lobbying and political organizing."

[ Parent ]

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