Community members offer suggestions at statewide redistricting hearing
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi lawmakers traveled the state this month to hear the public’s suggestions on how congressional and legislative districts should be redrawn.
The last of nine sessions was held at the State Capitol Monday.
This series of hearings was what lawmakers described as the “information gathering” stage. They won’t actually make any redistricting decisions until the next legislative session.
According to census data, Mississippi lost a little over 6,000 people over the last decade.
Some of the major themes that stood out Monday were transparency, equity, and the desire for state leaders who are more reflective of the state’s demographics.
“Don’t just be fair, do the right thing. We know what’s going on, you know what’s going on,” Walley Naylor said. “You know that lines have been drawn deliberately, not by accident, to minimize and dilute the Black vote.”
“Distribute a schedule after you draw your lines so that we can do this again,” Bobbie Bingham-Morrow said. “Why can we not have comment on the lines that you draw? Why can’t we do that? Let’s do that. That is my suggestion.”
“Women make up over 50% of Mississippi’s population, but yet we are ranked number 49 for the amount of women serving in Mississippi’s legislature,” Cassandra Welchlin said.
Everyone who spoke thanked the legislators for allowing them to share their opinions and asked for that transparency to continue when final lines are drawn.
Redistricting is required by law every ten years after census numbers show how the population has gone up or down in different parts of the state.
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