Atlanta, GA – This week the U.S.Census Bureau released reapportionment numbers, officially marking the beginning of the once-a-decade redistricting process.
In preparation for what has historically been a closed-door process with only minimal public involvement and disclosure, Georgia progressive leaders and fair redistricting advocates are speaking up for Georgians, whose lives will be deeply impacted when Georgia’s General Assembly redraws the boundaries of the state’s legislative and congressional districts later this year.
This week, twenty progressive organizations sent a letter to Lt. Gov. Duncan, Speaker Ralston, and relevant House and Senate committees with 15 specific suggestions for increasing public visibility and involvement in redistricting. The coalition is demanding a redistricting process that inspires trust via ample opportunity for public access, public participation and timely public comment. Furthermore, they are calling for all secrecy provisions to be waived during all reapportionment deliberations by the General Assembly.
Ken Lawler, Chair of Fair Districts GA, said:
“We need robust guidelines for a transparent process. We are calling on Georgia legislators to remove all secrecy provisions that could prevent redistricting from being a fair process.” We are also partnering with Princeton Gerrymandering Project to provide independent, non-partisan benchmarks for Georgia’s legislative maps.”
Aunna Dennis, Executive Director of Common Cause Georgia, said:
“There is currently a lack of transparency in Georgia’s redistricting process. It’s imperative that Georgia legislators involve the community in the mapping process instead of protecting incumbents. It’s high time they represent all communities and not just those already in power. Right now, it’s too easy for legislators to hide activities — like redistricting — from voters because the General Assembly is not covered by Georgia’s Open Meeting Law. Sixteen grassroot groups have called for changing the law so that ‘the people’ can observe and be involved in ‘the people’s business’.”
Theron Johnson, Georgia State Director of All on the Line, said:
“This year’s special session for redistricting will affect every Georgian’s life for years to come and by extension, the whole country. Now is the time for us as Georgians to be engaged and demand transparency from our legislators.”
Karuna Ramachandran, Director of Statewide Partnerships, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta, said:
“It’s more important than ever for Georgians to start participating in the redistricting process by getting involved in local government. Learn who your elected officials are in your districts and work to ensure that they know what issues matter most to your community. Now is the time to make sure your representatives know where you stand: for a fair and transparent redistricting process.”
Vyanti Joseph, Organizing Director of Asian American Advocacy Fund, said:
“We demand a fair, transparent redistricting process where Georgia lawmakers create new districts that respect communities, and do not use partisan data for the benefit of political parties.”
Part of the Progress Now network, Progress Georgia is a political digital and communications hub for the progressive movement in Georgia. Progress Georgia works to uplift the values and voices of the progressive movement across the state by keeping politicians accountable and elevating the issues that matter most to our communities. Learn more at https://progressga.org/.