Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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FL Gov. & Legislature Openly Discriminate Against Communities of Color Through New Voting Map

Photo of demonstrators holding sign: "Racism is the real pandemic." Graphic caption: Florida redistricting. Representation of voters of color reduced
Photo: James Eades via Unsplash | Columbia County Observer graphic

TALLAHASSEE, FL  – Yesterday, the state legislature passed the congressional map proposed by Governor Ron DeSantis, reducing the representation of communities of color. The new congressional map contains fewer majority-minority districts than the previous map and fewer than previously proposed maps.

Governor DeSantis criticized those maps for actively seeking to draw more majority-minority districts that provided more equal representation. 

Governor DeSantis signed into law maps that 'crack' apart or 'pack' together communities of color to diminish their voice in government. Gov. DeSantis has openly criticized majority-minority districts that provide equal representation to Floridians of color throughout the redistricting process. Now he is weaponizing redistricting to replace some of those districts with majority-white districts.

Despite the growth of communities of color in Florida, Gov. DeSantis is proposing a map that reduces the number of seats containing a majority of voters of color in Congress.

Voters of color will be deprived of an equal opportunity to make their voices heard on issues as local as getting their roads repaired or as national as healthcare policy.

Given the extent to which the new congressional map in Florida is likely to diminish the voices in government of communities of color and the blatant disregard the Governor and the state legislature have shown for creating equal representation for communities of color, it is vital that we hold them accountable and prevent these maps from taking effect.

The Southern Poverty Law Center supports and stands with Florida communities and grassroots organizations calling out and organizing against these discriminatory maps. 

Jack Genberg is Senior Staff Attorney for Voting Rights with the Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund.

SPLC Action Fund is a catalyst for racial justice in the South and beyond, working in partnership with communities to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements, and advance the human rights of all people.

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