Sen. Shevrin Jones has offered changes to a proposed congressional map before the Florida Senate votes on it.
The Democrat wants to see Miami Gardens, a community he represents in the state Senate, kept wholly within one congressional district. Under his draft map (S 8060), it would sit within Florida’s 24th Congressional District.
The Senator took issue with a draft map advanced by the Senate Reapportionment Committee (S 8040) that’s set for floor discussion Wednesday afternoon. That map splits Miami Gardens between CD 24 and Florida’s 25th Congressional District.
“The latest maps are a severe disservice to the voters of Miami Gardens, a predominantly African American city, with important local challenges that deserve focused representation in Congress,” Jones said.
“Our (Senate District) 35 team proudly serves one of the most diverse Senate districts in the state, takes that responsibility incredibly seriously, and will keep fighting to ensure all of our communities’ voices are heard and have a true seat at the table.”
CD 24 voters, under the current pre-redistricting configuration, are represented in Congress by U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Hollywood Democrat and an African American. CD 25 voters, meanwhile, are represented by U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart, a Hialeah Republican and a Cuban American.
On the proposed Senate map, about 42.02% of voting-age residents of CD 24 are Black. Meanwhile, Black voters make up 7.96% of the voting-age population in the proposed CD 25, which remains a minority district with 76.83% of voting-age residents identified as Hispanic.
Interestingly, the percentage of Black voting-age residents in CD 24 goes down in Jones’ proposal, to 41.47%, and up in CD 25, to 8.45%.
But Jones feels his map does a better job keeping communities on the ground whole.
Of note, Jones — a freshman Senator elected in 2020 after eight years in the House — declined to run in a Special Election in the nearby Florida’s 20th Congressional District earlier this year. The heavily Black and Democratic district is now represented by Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick.
Should Jones’ amendment pass on the Senate floor, it would contain his home community in a single congressional district. That may prove politically beneficial should the 79-year-old Wilson retire from Congress any time in the next decade.
Asked about his own ambitions, Jones demurred.
“I’m willing to serve wherever the people take me,” he said. “As of right now, my focus is pushing back on dilution of Black representation.”