Team Winning District (Masterman H.S., Philadelphia) - Honorable Mention, East Youth

About Silverio Cadiao: I am a student at Masterman High School.

About Annie Ni: I’m a senior at Masterman School. Aside from being a full-time student, I am involved in numerous extracurriculars from volleyball as part of my school team and a community team, working part time jobs, and committing hours to a community youth group! To me, it is not only important to learn as a student but to learn from the community around me as well!

Judges' statement

Annie and Silverio had the most competitive districts in this division with 14 and a great compact score. Add  to that a thoughtful personal statement, and this entry was well worth an honorable mention. 

Personal statement

In our map, we focused on the issues of competitiveness and equal voices. We strongly believe that each person's vote is worth the same value and no one district should have a heavier or weighted say due to that district's larger size. The reason we focused on competitiveness is because lack of competition is a main flaw of gerrymandering. If districts are split in a way in which the two major parties have an equal chance of winning a position, then the election becomes more based on skill and merit. Each candidate will then have to put in an effort and build up a reputable platform for them to run. By splitting the districts in this manner, more than half of the districts will be competitive.

The largest challenge was dealing with county lines in way that kept equal population while maintaining the goal of keeping the individual districts competitive. For example, Philadelphia itself was a district that contained nearly 1.5 million people, well exceeding the goal of 747,000, and we needed to find an effective way of splitting the county. Using our experiences of living in Philadelphia, we redistricted the county to best demonstrate our ideas. We believe that there are limitations in drawing districts using the available online resources. However, we paid special attention to the registered Democrat and Republican voter population within each county and city to make each of our 17 districts as competitive as possible.