Every 10 years, after the census, state legislators are required to redraw legislative districts to reflect where people are now living to ensure we all have equal representation.
That’s what’s supposed to happen, but we are talking about politicians here. So, what actually ends up happening is that the politicians in power too often rig the process to serve their own political interests instead of what’s best for us, the people of Florida. That’s why you find weirdly constructed legislative districts, some that look like snakes or odd geometric designs. State legislators have often drawn districts to select voters — rather than allowing voters to select their elected officials.
The districts we draw this time will shape our lives and our communities for the next decade.
The economy, education, small business interests, clean water, affordable housing, etc., all will be affected by this process. It’s important that we let our elected representatives know we’re watching and we want a fair and transparent process resulting in districts that reflect our communities’ interests, not politicians’.
In 2010, nearly two-thirds of Florida voters passed the Fair Districts amendments into our state constitution. That was an important first step, but our work is far from over — as we saw after the amendments passed. Florida Republicans had to admit in open court that they had cheated and drawn maps that violated those same amendments. In other words, they ignored the will of the people of Florida and our own state constitution to draw illegal districts for their own benefit. We can’t spend years litigating these issues in court again while the people’s needs get left behind.
Can you believe only one in 10 Florida legislator has signed a pledge committing to simply following the rules this time around? One in 10. This isn’t a Democrat or Republican problem. This is a power corrupts problem. And the only solution is for us to demand our representatives pledge a fair process and follow the Fair Districts amendments.
Rep. Ralph Massullo, sign the pledge. Sen. Wilton Simpson, sign the pledge. The voters in your districts want fairness.
President Democratic Women’s Club of Citrus County
Senate President Wilton Simpson (R)
Tallahassee #: (850) 487-5010
District #: (352) 688-5077
Representative Ralph Massullo, Jr (R)
Tallahassee #: (850) 717-5034
District #: (352) 527-4510