What Redistribution Means For Black Voters in the Big Bend Area

By Kwantisa Harris
Outlook Writer

The redistribution of Florida’s map will be enacted during Special Session C, which began Oct. 19. Florida Supreme Court gave parties until Oct. 27 to reach an agreement.

The House and Senate are still at odds over new rezoning plans; taking into consideration the fact that Redistricting of Florida seems to favor one party’s incumbents over the other.

Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis released the tentative maps on Oct. 9 in hopes to alleviate Florida of its political-party favoring districts.

As the population shifts in various areas of Florida, especially the volume increase in the Tri-County area, a refreshing of the boundaries will help citizens get the representation that would better dictate the agricultural and economic needs within their municipalities.

However, these individual communities may have different values that concern the daily lives of citizens and overall economic growth.

For instance, citizens of Homestead, Fla may be more concerned about the farmlands and the direct impact State law will have on their farmlands.

While Miami constituents in the northwest part of the city may have more concerns with zoning and the continuous constructions of high-rises all over the down town area.
But in what ways will the Big Bend be impacted by the redistribution of District 2?

“I think what you’ll see with the reshaping of the map released by Judge Lewis is how it split up Tallahassee.

That could mean two members of congress representing Tallahassee-Leon County whereas, Tallahassee and Leon County are currently in one congressional district,” said Democrat Rep. Alan Williams. “What will happen is, the final map that will come out of this process [that the court has now undertaken], a greater compliance with the fair district’s constitutional requirements,” Williams stated.

So, it matters if voters are Black and actually want a Black representative. Redistribution could mean a district is more likely to produce a White representative than Black.
Though it’s apparent that all lives matter, the Black voice has been silenced by political agendas that don’t seem to nullify cyclical issues in impoverished communities dominated by African-Americans.

“This is Political-Apartheid. The new East-West distribution does not give Blacks access to fair representation,” said County Commissioner, Bill Proctor.
Serving Tallahassee for 19 years, Proctor spoke candidly regarding what he called, “politics over law.”

Since the inception of the Three Branches of Government, an extremely low number of Blacks have held official positions when compared to their White Counterparts.

So low that it’s a celebration when a person of color is elected or even nominated as a potential candidate. Recent surveys showed the Black vote made a significant increase.
If those numbers are continuously exponential in growth, Blacks will more likely produce a representative that in some ways relate to their apparent list of demands.

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