RepresentUS is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that seeks to make voices on all points of the political spectrum heard. In one of its latest attempts to educate Americans on the subject of voting suppression, RepresentUS partnered with Food Truck Promotions to combine pizza (everybody’s favorite food) with the much less appetizing concept of gerrymandering through a mobile tour. From here, Gerry’s Partisan Pizza was born.
Not everyone knows what gerrymandering is, or that it’s a tactic politicians on both sides of the aisle have used to steal elections for centuries. Gerrymandering is the manipulation of boundaries of electoral districts to get a competitive edge in elections. Politicians discovered that by sorting voters into unusual-looking districts, they were more likely to guarantee a desired outcome on election day.
RepresentUS and Food Truck Promotions figured that the simplest and most effective way to illustrate gerrymandering was by serving pizza that was intentionally unevenly cut. This way, people could actually see what gerrymandering looks like in real time (before chowing down, of course).
RepresentUS and Food Truck Promotions partnered to create the “Gerry’s Partisan Pizza” mobile tour, travelling to five states and nine gerrymandered cities and serving pizza with a side of education. These locations included everywhere from Raleigh and Greensboro, North Carolina, Annapolis, Maryland, Tallahassee and Orlando, Florida, Harrisburg and Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, and finally, Appleton and Madison, Wisconsin.
Weirdly shaped pizza may seem like a strange approach to a pretty complicated problem, but as anticipated, the concept resonated with people. As the organizing director for RepresentUS said, the odd-looking pizza can “give you an immediate and direct impression if the guy behind the counter that’s cutting your pizza is doing it however they want to do it.”
Arbitrary slices like the ones in “Gerry’s Partisan Pizza” have real life consequences; and besides visually showing what gerrymandering looks like for people who may not know, few things generate more support around voting equality quite like a free slice of delicious Gerry’s Partisan pizza.