February 17, 2021 2021 CRSJ Section Midyear Meeting

Slay the Dragon: Documentary Discussion

After the 2008 election, a secretive, well-funded partisan initiative poured money into state legislative races in key swing states to gain control of their redistricting processes and used high-tech analytics to dramatically skew voting maps based on demographic data. The result is one of the greatest electoral manipulations in U.S. history, one that poses a fundamental threat to our democracy and exacerbates the already polarized atmosphere in Congress and state houses across the country.

Gerrymandering, the practice of redrawing electoral maps to serve the party in power, has been around for centuries. But in today’s hyperpartisan political environment it has been taken to unprecedented extremes, fueled by the elimination of corporate campaign contribution limits and the availability of vast amounts of personal information.

The effects of this audacious plan have continued to bear fruit through the 2018 midterms. But voters, fed up with cynical efforts to sidestep the will of the majority, have begun fighting back. In one example, a grassroots movement led by a young woman with no political experience gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures to put an anti-gerrymandering initiative on the ballot in Michigan.

Slay the Dragon
shines a light on this timely issue, and follows a handful of citizens’ groups, outraged by what they see as an attack on the core democratic principle that every person’s vote should count equally, as they battle party operatives and an entrenched political establishment to fix a broken system.

Panelists include:

  • Chris Durrance and Barak Goodman, Directors and Producers of Slay the Dragon
  • Katie Fahey, Founder/Director of The People
  • Paul M. Smith, Vice President for Litigation & Strategy of the Campaign Legal Center and Professor from Practice at Georgetown Law
  • Elizabeth Yang, Chair of the Elections and Voting Rights Committee of the ABA Section of State and Local Government Law

The documentary is available for viewing on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and other various streaming platforms for a nominal fee. We hope you will consider watching the documentary and supporting the filmmakers.

Welcome and Introduction

  • Angela J. Scott, J.D., LL.M., Federal Civil Rights Law Attorney; Chair, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Panelists

  • Chris Durrance, Director and Producer, Slay the Dragon
  • Katie Fahey, Founder/Director, The People
  • Barak Goodman, Director and Producer, Slay the Dragon
  • Paul M. Smith, Vice President for Litigation & Strategy, Campaign Legal Center; Professor from Practice, Georgetown Law; Council Member, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice

Moderator

  • Elizabeth Yang, Chair, Elections and Voting Rights Committee, ABA Section of State and Local Government Law

Co-Sponsors: ABA Center for Public Interest Law, ABA Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice, ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights & Responsibilities, ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, ABA Diversity and Inclusion Center, ABA Section of State and Local Government Law, ABA Standing Committee on Election Law

Resources

Transcript: Slay the Dragon: Documentary Discussion

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