'Partisan' Pizza Shop Delivers Only to Homes Inside Gerrymandered Districts
Gerrymandering represents an effort to manipulate electoral boundaries in favor of specific parties or constituencies. Pizza is an Italian dish with tomato sauce, cheese, meats or vegetables topping a base of flat, round dough.
These concepts collide in a campaign from nonpartisan voter advocacy group RepresentUs that warns Americans of the threat gerrymandering poses to democracy.
The effort launched last weekend in Austin, Texas' new 37th Congressional District, and will expand across the U.S. in coming weeks. For the activation, a truck from "Gerry's Partisan Pizza" delivers free pies—but only to customers in gerrymandered zones.
"Why is the district shaped like a corrupt politician drew it? Because they did—to cut certain voters out and guarantee they win elections!" laments pizza-maker Gerry in the promo above. "Mmm, gotta love the fresh taste of democracy in decline!"
The Gerry's Partisan Pizza truck opened this past weekend in Texas's new 37th Congressional district, serving every home within those boundaries—and not one more. The menu boasts real selections such as Mandered Margherita, Choosing Voters Cheese and Politicians' Pick Pepperoni. With each order, folks receive a side of information about partisan politics and corruption.
Gerrymandering involves "slicing up" maps to create voting blocks—and pizza is served in slices. RepresentUs believes this simple connection will help its message cut through the clutter.
"We hope that through the lens of pizza delivery, more people will see how gerrymandering is undermining our democratic process and diminishing the power of voters," says copywriter Mackenzie Hart of Mischief @ No Fixed Address, which developed the campaign with Dini Von Mueffling Communications.
Consumers can text "Pizza" to 505-405-9505 to order from Gerry or learn about the issues. In the near future, the truck will visit Greensboro and Raleigh, North Carolina; Annapolis, Maryland; Tallahassee, and Orlando, Florida; Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Madison and Appleton, Wisconsin. Spots will run in those markets during Saturday Night Live.
"If you don't like pizza places that hand-pick their customers, you are going to hate it when you hear about politicians hand-picking voters," says RepresentUs president Joshua Graham Lynn. "By rigging the delivery zone of Gerry's Partisan Pizza, RepresentUs is showing voters how politicians manipulate voting districts to rig elections—and giving voters a way to do something about it."
In campaign materials, the organization says the 37th U.S. House District represents "an example of an extreme packing gerrymander that concentrates Democrat voters into one area to reduce their influence ... to preserve the power of GOP incumbents." RepresentUs also cites research showing 90 percent of voters, both Democrats and Republicans, oppose the practice of radically redrawing congressional maps.
The group monitors gerrymandering by both major parties. It won praise and caused some consternation in 2020 for an anti-corruption effort that focused on deepfake tech and world leaders Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin.
Co-Founder & CCO - Greg Hahn
Partner and Executive Creative Director - Bianca Guimaraes
Partner and Executive Creative Director - Kevin Mulroy
Partner and President - Kerry Mckibbin
Creative Director - Hunter Fine
Senior Art Director - Helen Reiger
Copywriter - Mackenzie Hart
EVP Production - Will Dempster
Integrated Producer - Danielle Balanov
Account Director - Alison Whisenant
Account Supervisor - Sam Crawford
President, Co-founder - Graham Lynn
Senior Campaign Manager - Joe Kabourek
Dini Von Mueffling Communications
Founder & Owner - Dini Von Mueffling
Senior Account Executive - Rajasri Narasimhan
The Bait Shoppe
Evan Starkman - President and Founder
Remy Groh - Director of Production
Christina Culianos - Senior Producer
Director - Micah Perta
EP - Brian Etting
Producer - Zachary Green
DP - Dan Adlerstein
Art - Tony Gasparro
Wardrobe - Paula Erazun
Aaron Whitman - Editor
John Shafto - Colorist/Animator
Audio Mix - Aaron Mason and Murray Trider (Ground Control Studio)
Brad Turner - EP