The most important part of our government is the idea of equal representation. Every vote should carry the same weight. But depending on how political district boundaries are drawn, it is possible to minimize the impact of particular groups of people. Deliberately drawing districts to hurt or help a specific group is called gerrymandering, and, sadly, it’s been around since the early days of our country.
Every decade, the Florida Constitution compels the state legislature to redraw their own political district boundaries in a process called community districting or redistricting. The majority political party has the authority to draw the maps as they see fit, as long as they follow applicable state and federal laws. Yet, the laws alone are not enough to protect against partisan gerrymandering.
That’s where Conservation Voters come in.
Conservation Voters know that we can’t have a healthy environment without a healthy government. That’s why it’s so essential for people like you to stay engaged with the redistricting process as it unfolds. The process matters.
This week, the Florida Senate unveiled their first drafts of maps for both the Senate and Congress. The Florida House is yet to reveal any draft maps, nor have they given the public a hard timeline on when we can expect them.
In previous cycles, the Florida Legislature hosted public forums in communities around the state. Unfortunately, legislative leaders have declined to hold a single public hearing outside Tallahassee. Governor DeSantis has also failed to call on the legislature to make this process more accessible for the vast majority of residents who cannot afford to travel during the workweek.
FCV and our partners in the Fair Districts Coalition are actively planning to host our own nonpartisan community engagement forums. Please stay tuned to our Facebook page and be on the lookout for more information once we have times, dates, and locations confirmed. These events may be your only chance to make your voice heard in person. Don’t miss out.
- Fair Districts Coalition: Florida Redistricting Report Card
- Florida Politics: Fair Districts leaders unimpressed with redistricting so far
- Miami Herald: Redistricting dilemma: Do legislators prioritize minority voting power or status quo?
- MCI Maps: Issue #18: First Redistricting Maps Out!!!
- The New York Times: Republicans Gain Heavy House Edge in 2022 as Gerrymandered Maps Emerge
- Official Florida Redistricting Website