Black Girls M.A.P.P. Launches a GIS-Powered Voter Information Site

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Black Girls M.A.P.P., an employee resource group at Esri, has launched a GIS-powered site called  People for the People to provide more voters with the information they need to participate in the upcoming November 3rd election in the United States.

A women-led volunteer advocacy group, People for the People’s focus is to “educate and empower people to be civic-minded using the power of maps and data.” Raynah Kamau, Technical Advisor at Esri notes, “Bringing together members of the GIS community to volunteer their time to build these maps and apps has been an especially rewarding experience and has produced a tool set that I know will help the electorate for many elections to come.” 

“With everything that’s happened in 2020, we wanted to do something, to act,” said Whitney Kotlewski, Design Lead and Operations Program Manager at Esri. “We started People for the People to contribute to change, by creating a space for understanding and education around civic issues.”

The site is full of maps and information that seeks to help voters, regardless of affiliation, understand civic issues and the current political races. When people feel like politics don’t represent them, the risk of voter alienation from the election process is high.

To help include more voters, People for the People has developed 50 new mapping and data visualization applications that provide resources and information to make informed decisions as well as to encourage more engagement with topics that impact them.

People for the People takes a deep dive in issues like looking at the intersection of childcare and employment.
People for the People takes a deep dive in issues like looking at the intersection of childcare and employment. Where are children who have all residential parents in the labor force (and therefore need child care)?

Key Voting Issues

There is a Key Voting Issues section that walks visitors through core topics areas such as the environment, housing, healthcare, immigration, and education.

Each of these topics has a timeline and three curated stories to better inform voters. To explore the data more in depth, each topic also has three story map options that walk voters through a detailed look at an issue with that topic.

On the People for the People site, visitor can explore story maps to learn more about specific issues.  Screenshot.
On the People for the People site, visitor can explore story maps to learn more about specific issues. Screenshot.

Why Vote?

Elections are important and everyone’s vote matters. The “Your Vote Matters” takes visitors on a journey via a story map of some of the most closely elections to highlight how important it is for everyone who is eligible to vote.

For example, in Vermont in both 2010 and 2016, two races were won by just a single vote.

Close races happened in Vermont in 2010 and 2016.  Screenshot from People for the People.
Close races happened in Vermont in 2010 and 2016. Screenshot from People for the People.

Who’s Running – Look Up Congressional Races

The Who’s Running app lets visitors look up candidates near their current location or address to see what candidates are running for the US House or Senate. 

The Find Your Candidate map interface lets visitors search for Senate and House candidates for their jurisdiction.  Screenshot from People for the People.
The Find Your Candidate map interface lets visitors search for Senate and House candidates for their jurisdiction. Screenshot from People for the People.

For those visitors that want more information beyond the People for the People site, there is also a curated section of voting and civics related resources.

People for the People is full of well organized resources with maps to highlight and inform potential voters.

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