This is forwarded material from Ellen Freidin, who led the fight for redistricting reform – one of the few good things that came out of the November election and now something our state leaders seem determined to undermine.
Wednesday, Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel analogized our state officials to third world dictators where government does what it wants regardless of the will of its people. He was writing about the fact that the Secretary of State’s office had taken steps to thwart the application of our new redistricting standards— yes, the ones we worked so hard to pass, the ones that are now officially part of the state constitution. He was also writing about the fact that two members of Congress are being joined by the Florida House of Representatives in a lawsuit where they are essentially arguing that the citizens do not have the right to tell legislators how we want districts drawn.
The fight for fair districts is not over. Apparently Florida officials cannot respect the fact that Amendments 5 and 6 got 63% of the vote and are now part of the Constitution that they have sworn to uphold. And they are spending taxpayer money to undo what the people of Florida overwhelmingly voted for. Read the articles below to get a feel for what is going on and the outrage in the press.
I am writing to assure you that the FairDistricts team has not stopped fighting and we hope you will remain a part of our lean mean fighting machine! We have set up a new organization called FairDistricts Now, Inc., are gathering the best redistricting lawyers and experts we can find, and are continuing to energize our grassroots coalition members and organizations. Many of them are already speaking out though letters to the editors, press releases and op-eds. Dan Gelber is aggressively and skillfully heading up our legal team.
I promise you that we will not stop until the final maps implementing our reforms are approved. But we will continue to need your help.
I will keep you posted! (Don’t forget to read below)
With best regards,
FairDistricts Now, Inc.
2665 South Bayshore Drive
Miami, Florida 33133
League of Women Voters leader presses to implement redistricting reform
By Anthony Man January 25, 2011 12:54 PM – Palm Beach Post
Pamela Goodman, former presidnet of the League of Women Voters of Palm Beach County, is pushing back against a move by Gov. Rick Scott’s administration to slow implementation of the redistricting reform passed last year by Florida Voters.
The amendment, added to the state Constitution in November by the voters, is aimed at reducing political gamesmanship when congressional, state Senate and state House districts are redrawn to reflect population changes uncovered in the every-10-years census.
The party in power invariably draws districts to give it advantages and hurt the minority party.
Under former Gov. Charlie Crist, the state had submitted regulations to the U.S. Department of Justice. Gov. Rick Scott’s adminstration withdrew those regulations, drawing howls of protest Tuesday from Fair Districts Now, which called it an abuse of power. Continue reading “Fair Districts Fight Continues”