Congressional Communities are defined with two factors in mind: community
boundaries, and population. Using Census Bureau data, Congressional Community
lines are drawn to follow geographical and self-reported community boundaries.
With the intent of sectioning Congressional districts into smaller, more
manageable populations, Congressional Communities are also defined according to
population, with the aim of each community having a population between 30,000
and 200,000 constituents.
How are Congressional Communities different from Congressional Districts?
A Congressional District is a federally agreed upon electoral division of a state. Each Congressional District within a state elects one member to the House of Representatives to represent them. There are a total of 435 seats in the House of Representatives plus the non-voting House member’s District of Columbia. After each decennial census, the number of seats (or districts) each state gets is determined by the state’s population. Most states have multiple Congressional Districts; in the six states with only one representative, the state and district boundaries are the same. Currently, the average population of a Congressional District within a state is 760,000 people.
A Congressional Community, on the other hand, is a further subdivision of a Congressional District. Congressional Communities do not have electoral representation, nor are their borders drawn by the government or by districting committees. Instead, Congressional Communities are smaller divisions of these densely populated Congressional Districts, which are made by following existing neighborhoods (based on census data). The Congressional Communities National Service Office organizes each district into 15-20 well-defined sub-divisions with an average population of 45,000.
Why are Congressional Communities important?
Congressional Communities are important because they bring much needed organization to Congressional Districts, which have become too large to represent, and will only get larger. Too many voices go unheard with the current way our constituencies are organized. Congressional Communities’ way of meeting, polling, discussing, and working with representatives will remedy that. Our model provides an avenue for frequent, streamlined communication between smaller communities and their Representatives in Congress.
How can I support my Congressional Community?
The best way to support your congressional community is to join it! Find your Congressional Community here to get connected with your fellow community members. You can also donate time, expertise and money.