From Harford County Government:
Statement from County Executive David R. Craig Regarding the Governor’s Proposed Congressional Map
The Congressional map submitted by the Governor to the General Assembly looks as though it was painted by Picasso himself. But while it may be “aesthetically pleasing” to some, it does not allow for good representation for Maryland’s citizens.
The result of enacting the Governor’s map will be a situation where many Maryland citizens are unsure who is representing them, and where members of Congress are unsure whom they represent.
Congressional districts should be as compact as possible, should keep communities of common interest together, and should reflect the demographics of the state. The 2010 Census indicates that over 40% of Marylanders are minorities. As such, there is no reason why there should not be more than the two majority-minority districts contained in the proposed map.
A good map will also respect county and municipal boundaries where feasible. As a County Executive and a former mayor, I understand the importance of having a good relationship with your member of Congress, in addition to having clear and sensible boundaries between districts. Having districts that snake in and out of counties does not lend itself to good representation.
The goal of redistricting should not be to preserve seats for incumbents – regardless of party – or to allow incumbents to select their voters. Nor should it be to put partisan political desires ahead of minority representation.
I ask that the General Assembly give the alternative maps that have been introduced a full and fair hearing, as the map proposed by the Governor is far from ideal.
From the office of Sen. Nancy Jacobs:
THREE MINORITY-OFFERED MAPS FIGHT TO PRESERVE THE INTEGRITY OF RURAL COMMUNITIES AND CONTAIN THREE MAJORITY-MINORITY DISTRICTS: GET INVOLVED TODAY.
I’m heading to Annapolis on Sunday to put the finishing touches on my testimony for our Special Session that begins tomorrow. Our Republican Caucus will meet at 9 am to discuss strategy for each day of the special session.
The redistricting bill that I’m sponsoring in the Senate is being sponsored by Delegate Tony O’Donnell in the House. Our bill is a Good Government Redistricting Plan because Marylanders deserve fair and accurate representation of their interests We will do our bill presentation together at 1 pm Monday before the Senate and House Committees hearing the redistricting bills.
We want our constituent’s voices to be heard this week.
If you can, come to Annapolis for the hearings at 1 pm on Monday. There are other ways to have your voice be heard as well.
Call your senator and delegates offices and let them know your opinion on the Governor’s redistricting plan. Tell them that you support the Good Government plans being offered by the republicans that keeps communities together. Let them know that redistricting shouldn’t be about reducing the number of republican congressman in the state or denying minorities’ representation.
Call in to radio talk shows.
Earlier this week Senator Joe Getty and Senator E.J. Pipkin also introduced maps. All three proposals operate under a simple fairness doctrine that complies with existent federal laws. Our proposals will keep people with similar interests together, preserve the integrity of rural areas and allow for accurate representation of minorities communities by creating three majority-minority districts.
The Governor finally released his plan on Saturday (yesterday). In stark contrast, his redistricting bill tears these communities apart. The O’Malley plan may be politically satisfying to the backroom dealmakers of Annapolis, but it disenfranchises the very people it is meant to represent. The plan lacks discernible criteria for boundaries such as communities, school districts, or even county lines.
The redistricting process was never meant to be an incumbent retention exercise. Marylanders should be ashamed that the byproduct of the backroom deal-making resulted in ridicule from national media including one newspaper holding a naming contest for the redrawn 3rd Congressional District. O’Malley’s plan isn’t about the people; it’s about the self-serving politics that have come to define Annapolis.
Until Thursday night none of these alternative plans were going to be considered by the Maryland General Assembly. The Governor’s bill was the only one that would have a hearing. I called the President’s office and shared my concern that doing that would look like blatantly backroom partisan politics. At the bare minimum, Marylanders at least deserve to be heard and to offer their opinions on the multitude of plans. To his credit, the President of the Senate agreed that all of our bills deserve a hearing. ALL of the redistricting bills will be heard on Monday.
I believe that decision-making processes should be taken out of the back rooms and we should have open, honest and transparency from our leaders. I have no delusions that any of our bills will truly be considered throughout this process. What we gained by calling on the democrat leadership to do the right thing was making them realize that the process they created was neither open nor fair.
The democrats control Annapolis, so much so that they don’t even acknowledge that republicans and independents in this state deserve to have their voices be heard too. Rural Maryland and minorities are totally ignored as well.
It’s as though they are the democrats are the only ones whose opinions matter. That is part of what is wrong when one political party controls an entire state.
All three of the republican plans create a majority minority district, allowing for all minorities to have accurate and fair representation in D.C. Our governor chose partisanship over doing the right thing for the citizens of Maryland. Let your voice be heard this week.
Click here for a PDF of the Map
Sponsor: Senator Nancy Jacobs
* Respects existing county and municipal boundaries to keep communities of common interest together.
* Splits counties as infrequently as possible
* Creates three Minority-Majority districts
* Creates a district solely for Baltimore City of inside the beltway communities
* Protects the interests of voters rather than incumbent politicians
God bless you.
Senator Nancy Jacobs
Senate Minority Leader
District 34– Harford and Cecil County
Her plan also lumps annapolis with the entire Eatern SHore by crossing a large body of water!
CDEV – had the Senate Democrats allowed for debate on the map, that could have been ammended. aside from that, is there anything else you dislike about Sen. Jacobs proposal?
Her map is coherent, respects county lines for the most part, and keeps communities together. while you can nit-pick small aspects, you certainly cannot say with a straight face that the governor’s map respects the citizens of Maryland more.
Harford, Cecil, and ES are one district – largely agricultural and certainly not urban.
The same is true for Western/northern maryland.
baltimore city is 1 district.
though not perfect, this map is much better than what the senate approved.
I agree I do think that the item I mentioned is significant because there are ways to deal with the need for a few more in a better way. I also think the lines where drawn in Baltimore county to help an incumbent get a more favorable district.
Tony S. says
While I laud Senator Jacobs for coming up with this plan and while I feel it’s a grand sight better than anything that remotely resembles the Governor’s plan, I have to question if it too was drawn to disenfranchise minorities as well. The map shows Price George’s County split down the middle, with the southern half of the county being put into a district that comprises all of the lower Western Shore and the northern half comprising of areas in eastern Montgomery County. I can see where the northern half could be a ‘majority-minority’ district but doubt whether the southern half would meet this criteria. While I like the way that this plan draws up ‘District 2’, I think we all know it won’t fly.
Awhile back, I took the trouble to draw up two congressional proposals of my own. Pictures of these exist on the Maryland Campaign for Liberty Facebook page. What I’ll call ‘my alternative plan’ is somewhat similar to the plan offered by Howard Gorrell. While I’m not crazy about the plan offered by Senator Joseph Getty, his plan is certainly better than what the GA just passed and is something I can live with.