Representative Darlene Taylor
House District 173
401-H State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30334
The foundational principle of our nation is democracy. The rights of Americans to select their leaders is and should be inviolate. Additionally, it is crucial to the safety of both our democracy and posterity that politicians not self-select who they believe their voters should be.
You, Madame Chairwoman, stand as a vanguard of election subversion. You are not just a culprit, but a key player in subverting local control in swing counties, which is resulting in an unprecedented power grab. In at least 3 diversifying counties – Cobb, Gwinnett, and Augusta-Richmond – you and your colleagues have ignored House Rules (18.1 and 18.2) that govern the local legislative process. Typically with local redistricting, maps are drawn in accordance with local delegation rules—filed, assigned and reported out of the House Committee on Intragovernmental Coordination. Once reported out, the bills go to the Local Calendar where they are then voted on with other local bills. Nearly all Republican-backed bills are following this process.
Democratic legislators who lead all 3 county delegations submitted their own local redistricting maps in accordance with the rules that govern their local delegations. In all 3 counties, their maps have been assigned not to the House Committee on Intragovernmental Coordination, but to the House Committee on Governmental Affairs, the committee you chair.
As an example of the dubiousness of the maneuvers in question: In Athens-Clarke County, which continues to trend Democratic, your Republican colleagues ignored the Board-of-Commission approved map in favor of a map that splits a historic Black community and forces 3 sitting commissioners out of their present seats.
This is unacceptable, and you should be ashamed of your participation in such a blatant attempt to subvert the will of local leaders in areas that you do not represent. It seems that the party that has trumpeted local control has now developed a severe case of amnesia, conveniently on the tails of the 2020 and 2021 Presidential and Senate runoff elections.
Furthermore, your personal conduct as Chair of the House Governmental Affairs committee has been unbecoming of a leader supposedly committed to equity. In fact, we vehemently object to your treatment of your colleague, the duly elected House Democratic Whip, a Black man, who came before your committee on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 9, 2022 in an effort to advocate for the will of his county Commission and Board of Education, both of which we should note objected to the maps that you were considering at that time. The way you treated Representative David Wilkerson as he advocated for his constituents was uncalled for, and possessed racial animus that has been consistent with your prior conduct whenever Black, Brown, and AAPI individuals are before your committee.
We will no longer tolerate this type of behavior or treatment. You do not deserve the gavel that you possess, and you most certainly do not deserve to serve in the legislature. You have done enough harm to the state of Georgia, Representative. It is time for you to abdicate the responsibility you are failing to wield appropriately. Accordingly, we call for your immediate resignation as Chair of the House Governmental Affairs Committee, and as a member of the Georgia House of Representatives for conduct unbefitting of a member of said body.
Asian American Advocacy Fund
Fair Fight Action
GALEO Impact Fund, Inc.
Indivisible: Southeast GA
New Georgia Project Action Fund
Mi Familia Vota
Indivisible Georgia Coalition
Represent GA Action Network, Inc.
Working Families Party