The ins and outs of redistricting may seem like arcane details to Joe Six-pack, but Sens. Rosalind Osgood and Bobby Powell are having a town hall to explain what’s at stake — particularly the way the say it disenfranchised Black voters.
The first of two events, “Real Talk Town Hall: What’s really happening with redistricting,” will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday. The meeting will be held on Zoom, with meeting ID 871 7307 5035.
The first item on the agenda is the way Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed congressional maps the Legislature approved in the decennial redistricting process and submitted his own version that was subsequently approved, Osgood said. His maps reduce by half the number of seats designed to allow Black voters to elect a candidate of their choosing.
“We want people to really understand that our democracy is under attack,” said Osgood, who represents central Broward County. “And that it’s just more voter suppression. When you use maps to suppress the votes of any person in this country that has voting rights, that’s unacceptable.”
DeSantis’ map, now the focus of a lawsuit, will dismantle Rep. Al Lawson’s district and change the makeup of the seat held by Rep. Val Demings, as well as make other congressional districts more GOP-friendly. The Governor’s staff argued the district that spans from Jacksonville to Tallahassee was drawn based on racial motivations that violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
Osgood said the public is invited to participate. The second meeting will be on May 11.
Osgood said she’s trying to make people understand what “gerrymandering” and “redistricting” means to their lives, personally.
“Unless you are a person who is intimately involved in politics, you might not understand what those terms mean and how it plays out and what it actually means to you,” Osgood said.
Among the tools she’s planning to use: YouTube videos from YelloPain.
Osgood, a former basketball player, likened DeSantis’ vote to cheating at a basketball game, a sport she once competed in.
“I could block shots, play good defense, but I couldn’t just put a lid on the basket when it was (the other team’s) time to shoot,” she said.