Nat Lownes

Mapping Philadelphia Committee People and Voter Turnout

I expect this will become part of a larger project as I interview committee people and correct any modeling that I will inevitably get wrong. This project is still in its infancy.

As part of my run for Democratic State Committee (Push #34! May 15!) and my interest in Philadelphia politics, I started modeling and mapping Philadelphia voter data. Like many people in Philadelphia, I became more involved in politics because of my committee person – conversations and disagreements about politics out on our steps turned into “you should do this, I think you’d be good at it”.

The mighty "Northwest Coalition":  very high voter turnout wards in
Northwest Philadelphia

To start I wanted to quickly visualize a rough answer to the question of “Are the direct neighbors of Democratic Committee persons more civically engaged?“. The dots on the map are where committee people live, the heat the geographic density of voters who reliably vote in every election. I wanted to look for geographically connected regions of supervoters living next to committee people – areas where you can look at the map and imagine the ideal committee people, setting out from their homes, knocking on doors and getting their neighbors to the polls.

A few that visually stand out:

24th and Cumberland, along Firth St. 30th and Norris, along 30th. Fernhill in Germantown, along Morris St. off Knox St. in Germantown Harold St near Memphis in Kensington south side of Oxford St. west of 60th Larchwood between 46th and 47th.  I especially like this one, picturing the
two committee people on Larchwood wearing a path down that block.  The large red
blotch is Garden Court apartments -- higher density housing with a higher
concentration of voters

Obviously committee people are not the only factor involved in turning out voters, but they play a big part. In the coming months I’m looking to expand on this simple map, interview committee people that seem extraordinarily good at turning out voters in their division, and begin mapping new committee people that win their seats this year.

If you’d like to be kept up to date on this project and others related to Philadelphia politics, you can sign up for my mailing list. I promise to only send interesting things, infrequently.

Comments? Want to see your division mapped? Want to talk about voter turnout?: