The FairDistrictsFlorida.org constitutional initiative, which is up for a vote as Amendments 5 and 6, is one of the most important ballot measures not just for Democrats but for anyone who cares about fair elections.
I had thought that after failing to kill these amendments in court, opponents might not bother to put up that much of a fight against an anti-gerrymandering measure that has been endorsed by just about every newspaper in the state. But there is an organized opposition to be aware of, and you can see what it looks like at http://www.protectyourvote.com/
The main thrust of the argument seems to be that passage of Amendments 5 and 6 will be bad for minority representation. In other words, it may redistrict away some safe districts, primarily for black voters. Some minority legislators, including some Democrats have bought into this argument, but it’s bogus.
Actually, there is some language in the amendments about taking minority representation into account. However, the main thrust is to promote districts that will be compact and line up, where possible, with municipal and natural boundaries. The goal is to get rid of crazy districts that snake up and down the coast, or from one coast to the other, because incumbents and the Republican majority have manipulated the district lines for political advantage.
The Republican bosses fighting against Amendments 5 and 6 don’t care about minority rights; they care about protecting the status quo. The partisan Democratic reason to support Fair Districts Florida is to shake up the status quo, and perhaps pick up a few seats in the process. But the long-term reason to support it, as an American citizen, is simply to make incumbents compete against challengers on a more level playing field, and may the best candidate win.