National Democrats are turning their redistricting spotlight on Florida and eight other states critical to the congressional balance of power.
The Democrats are doing so through the Democratic National Redistricting Committee, chaired by former Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder to monitor and pressure Republican legislatures to avoid gerrymandering as they begin the redistricting process in Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.
It’s the first time Democrats have organized a national committee to deal with states’ decennial redistricting efforts.
In Florida, the Democrats defensive preparations are being led by an affiliated Democratic group, All On The Line Florida, led by Katie Vicsik, which has been focusing on grassroots organizing around redistricting.
They and the rest of Florida await word on when and how the Republican-led Florida Legislature intends to redraw congressional district maps now that the U.S. Census Bureau has indicated congressional reapportionment will award Florida another seat in Congress. That means Florida’s 27 districts need to be redrawn to make room for 28.
“All On The Line invested early in Florida and will continue investing,” Vicsik said. “I have been on the ground here since 2019, working to educate grassroots supporters, partner organizations, and elected officials on the redistricting process, and to raise awareness about the harmful impact gerrymandering has on federal and state policymaking.”
That may be well and good if the redistricting process proceeds openly and follows provisions of the 2010 fair districts amendments, which Florida voters put into the state constitution, limiting partisan motives. A decade ago, the Republican leadership didn’t do that, and Florida was sued, and lost, and had to do it again. The Democrats and All On The Line Florida, as part of the Fair Districts Coalition, already have indicated they will be part of more court challenges if that happens again.
“So far, we have not heard from the Legislature on what plans they will have around public input on proposed maps, even though this time last cycle we already had a public map portal, and a public hearing schedule so this is very problematic,” Vicsik said.