in Jefferson County..., a Journey
"Finding Community" is a project undertaken by the new clubhouse, KlubHaus Korner, in Helenville, Wisconsin. As a new enterprise, KlubHaus Korner needs to explore how best to serve our future customers, i.e. club members.
Who are members of the Helenville community? Are they only the 200+ people who actually reside in Helenville, the several thousand rural residents that surround Helenville, or do they include people from nearby communities. Many in Helenville have family members who live in surrounding villages and cities.
Where do people in Helenville shop for groceries, find healthcare, commute for employment and go for recreation? Many in Helenville must travel for these services in surrounding communities. What services might KlubHaus provide in Helenville?
Research on software tools regarding community identified an interesting opportunity for community research in Wisconsin. A project in Wisconsin, the People's Maps Commission (WPMC) is aimed at identifying communities of people who work together on common issues of interest or concern. Examples are groups of people who like to fish or garden or ride snowmobiles. Other examples are people concerned about rural transportation, clean water and other community issues. In redistricting, the goal is to prevent arbitrary splitting of these communities during the process of creating maps for redistricting proposals.
Most importantly for KlubHaus' immediate community research needs, we discovered that the WPMC had contracted with a group of data scientists out of a software lab at Tuft's University to train people on how to collect community data. At KlubHaus, we decided to become trained through this free program and pay the cost forward by sharing our maps and research findings with our Wisconsin community. We hope our work will have many positive uses in addition to meeting our KlubHaus needs, perhaps even meeting the more important goal of representative redistricting.
In class, my first training map, displayed on the top right, was to train me on how to collect data on our own communities. KlubHaus is in Helenville; consequently the draft Helenville map to the top right, is centered on Helenville and displays the surrounding communities where many people in Helenville go for groceries, healthcare and other business services. If you are interested, you can view the interactive map online and read the draft commentary in Helenville and Surrounds and then check out "My Training Saga Essay." To help people learn to use Districtr software faster than I did, I created a pdf, "Wisconsin DistrictR Tutorial." In mid-July, I was sent this wonderful WI Community Mapping video by two volunteers. Everyone should watch this first.
The more difficult task will be to perform the real task of collaborating with people in Helenville and beyond. Perhaps together, we can create a more complete view of Community in Jefferson County.
The first of these team collaboration projects is described in The Rock River Mapping Team.
The second collaboration is described in the "Cambridge Project."
A follow-on project called Voting Maps for Jefferson County collected a list of the maps submitted to the WPMC Portal with some relationship to how redistricting should play-out for Jefferson County residents.