Reps. Edwards, Cortvriend, Carson, Phillips attend national redistricting conference


From left, Rep. Robert Phillips, Rep. Terri Cortvriend, Rep. Lauren H. Carson and Rep. John G. Edwards in Salt Lake City during the National Conference of State Legislators Redistricting Seminar, held July 14 thought 16.


STATE HOUSE — Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth), Rep. Terri Cortvriend (D-Dist. 72, Portsmouth, Middletown), Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport) and Rep. Robert D. Phillips (D-Dist. 51, Woonsocket, Cumberland) recently took part in a conference on redistricting run by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“Redistricting is a complicated process that is meant to ensure that all voters have equal power, no matter how population may shift. There are many, many moving parts and it requires balancing considerations that sometimes conflict. As we get ready to dive into our own redistricting process in the coming year, it was very enlightening to be able to learn from those with significant experience, so we can do our best to carry out this process fairly, effectively and in a manner that stands up to the scrutiny that redistricting warrants,” said Representative Edwards, who serves as the House Floor Manager.

Held July 14 through 16 in Salt Lake City, the seminar was designed to help legislators prepare for the once-a-decade redistricting required after completion of the census. The conference included national redistricting experts and legislators from across the nation discussing many practical matters for legislators tasked with leading their state’s redistricting efforts, such as balancing conflicting principles, the Voting Rights Act and racial gerrymandering, and record-keeping and adequately preparing for court challenges to redistricting.

The Rhode Island constitution calls for the General Assembly to reapportion its districts after each federal census. The last census took place in 2020. This session, a law was passed establishing an 18-member special commission on reapportionment whose purpose is to draft and to report to the General Assembly an act to reapportion the House and Senate districts and the state’s congressional districts.




The FBI is reporting an increase in violent crime for the first time in four years. The Bureau announced its 2020 Crime Statistics on Monday, which shows a more than five percent increase compared to the year before. Murders and non-negligent manslaughter crimes also saw a dramatic increase of nearly 30 percent.       A New York jury has found R&B singer R. Kelly guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking charges. Acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis said the verdict shows he preyed on the young, vulnerable and voiceless. The jury deliberated for a total of about nine hours to reach their verdict.        The White House is clearing up any confusion regarding COVID vaccine boosters. Press Secretary Jen Psaki [[ SAH-kee ]] clarified the booster is available for Pfizer vaccine recipients who are 65-and-older, along with other high risk groups. That includes frontline workers and those with weakened immune systems.        The Senate Majority Leader is giving a warning about not extending the federal debt limit. Speaking on the Senate floor, Chuck Schumer said it could have a ripple effect throughout the U.S. economy. The Treasury Department has warned the U.S. could default on its debt obligations next month.       Congresswoman Karen Bass could become the first Black, female mayor of Los Angeles. The California Democrat announced her run today as she has represented parts of L.A. in Congress for a decade and is considered a rising star in the national Democratic Party. Recent polls show she's likely to be a strong contender in an already crowded field.        TikTok says it has one-billion global users per month. The short-form video app has been growing steadily over the last few years, picking up major steam during the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. The company was averaging just over half-a-billion users in December of 2019.