We’re just going to rip this line right from Thursday’s press release:
“To get a head start on the next round of reapportionment in 2021, Florida House Democrats have formed a Working Group on Redistricting that will allow them to be fully prepared to present the citizens of our state with the fair maps they deserve.”
Yes, the Democratic Caucus is not fooling around with the potential for line-drawing hanky-panky four years from now.
The panel, which will be chaired by Rep. Evan Jenne, includes Democratic House members Ramon Alexander, Loranne Ausley, Tracie Davis, Ben Diamond, Nicholas Duran, Al Jacquet, Amy Mercado, Emily Slosberg, and Carlos Guillermo Smith.
“With the next round of redistricting just around the corner, House Democrats feel it is important to begin putting in the work now so that we do not get caught flat-footed when the process begins,” Jenne said in a statement.
All business of the working group “will be conducted in full compliance with Florida’s Sunshine Law,” the release said. “All meetings will be publicly noticed, including the publication of a conference call line when conducted by teleconference, and all work product created will be available upon request.”
That’s a not-so-veiled dig at Republicans who admitted after the last go-round that they gamed the system and agreed on a do-over.
The League of Women Voters of Florida, Common Cause and others sued the state over redrawn congressional and state Senate boundaries after the last Census. They said the Republican-drawn maps violated the state’s “Fair Districts” constitutional amendments aimed at prohibiting gerrymandering.
“Unfortunately, it took years of court battles for Floridians to get the properly drawn districts they mandated,” the release said.
The groups, for instance, alleged the Senate district map was rigged to favor Republicans and incumbents. The GOP-controlled Senate settled that case by admitting fault and agreeing to redraw the lines.
“Free and fair elections are the bedrock of our democracy and the people of Florida deserve to have confidence that their electoral maps are being drawn to their benefit, not the benefit of the legislators doing the drawing,” Jenne said. “Let’s end the political sleight of hand that has driven reapportionment in the past and focus on giving Floridians the fair districts they deserve.”