Press Release – Joint Resolution by SCDP, Sarasota Democratic Black Caucus, and Sarasota Hispanic Caucus Against Redistricting

SARASOTA – November 14 – The Sarasota County Democratic Party (SCDP) voted to join the Sarasota Democratic Black Caucus and the Sarasota Democratic Hispanic Caucus in opposing the decision of three County Commissioners to move forward with an overtly  discriminatory map that manipulates – in fact, gerrymanders — district lines at the expense of Sarasota’s minority communities.

A Joint Resolution of the three organizations was discussed and supported overwhelmingly at SCDP’s monthly meeting to call on the County Commissioners – particularly Commissioners Detert, Maio and Moran – to move away from applying a  new districting map selected on October 30 that clearly disenfranchises many black and other minority voters by potentially postponing their participation in local elections from 2020 to 2022.

“This is ‘a bridge too far,’” said SCDP Chair Jo Anne DeVries. She explained that “passionate voters spoke at the last meeting” and explained why certain versions of the map clearly violate Federal law and will result not only in diluting the county’s black vote, but literally “reversing the choice made by 60% of voters who chose single member county districts in the “2018 election.”

The shared resolution states that the Sarasota County Commission’s decision “transparently protects the interests of one political party by disenfranchising black, Hispanic and other minority voters.”

The organizations also called a halt to this and any “racist redistricting process that suppresses minority voters. (We) support the endeavors of allied organizations such as the NAACP and the ACLU that are taking action to halt this illegal attempt at gerrymandering.


Resolution

JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE SARASOTA DEMOCRATIC BLACK CAUCUS, THE SARASOTA DEMOCRATIC HISPANIC CAUCUS AND THE SARASOTA COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY

 ON COUNTY COMMISSION REDISTRICTING MAPS

Whereas, the decision by the Sarasota County Commission on October 30, 2019 to endorse a map that overtly disenfranchises many Black and other minority voters by potentially postponing their participation in local elections from 2020 to 2022 is a bridge too far.

Whereas, the derivative of the “Smith” map violates federal law and is a blatant ploy to dilute the Black vote and to roll back the decision by 60% of voters who voted in favor of single member county districts.

Whereas, this apparent gerrymandering by the Sarasota County Commission transparently protects the interests of one political party by disenfranchising Black and other minority voters.

Therefore, the Sarasota Democratic Black Caucus, the Sarasota Democratic Hispanic Caucus and the Sarasota County Democratic Party rise in opposition to Commissioners Detert, Maio and Moran’s decision to move forward with this discriminatory map that manipulates district lines at the expense of Sarasota’s minority community.

And furthermore, the Sarasota Democratic Black Caucus, the Sarasota Democratic Hispanic Caucus and the Sarasota County Democratic Party demand a halt to this and any other racist redistricting process that suppresses minority voters, and support the endeavors of allied organizations such as the NAACP and the ACLU that are taking action to halt this illegal attempt at gerrymandering.


Dee McFarland, President, Sarasota Democratic Black Caucus 

deemcfarland@me.com

734-612-0303

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