Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Where did the term "gerrymander" come from?

A Very Helpful Article in today's NY Times explained the history of the term "gerrymander."  I'd grown up with the word because the schools in my hometown were gerrymandered, and my parents led the fight to undo that policy of segregation.  But when and where did the term arise?  Article author Carl Hulse explained that the term referred to Boston voting districts which in 1832 were drawn in bizarre shapes that gave advantage to one political party.  Governor Gerry signed this into law.  A newspaper published a cartoon saying the shape was reminiscent of salamander, indeed, a "Gerry-mander."  You learn something every day!  And what a cartoon!
According the NY Times: "This 1812 cartoon in The Boston Gazette
skewered twisting legislative districts in Massachusetts and helped
give rise to the term 'gerrymandering.'"

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