Drawing of new political districts soon to begin

Published 7:06 pm Thursday, September 9, 2021

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

Redistricting is the process of drawing new congressional and state legislative district boundaries to ensure that there are equal populations between districts. Federal law stipulates that districts must have nearly equal populations and must not discriminate on the basis of race or ethnicity.

District lines are redrawn every 10 years following the United States Census. The one person, one vote requirement of the federal constitution must be in compliance when districts are redrawn and state requirements must also be met.

The results from the 2020 census are in and Alabama’s Reapportionment Committee is set to hold public hearings around the state.

The state of Alabama’s reapportionment committee will be holding one such public hearing this Thursday, Sep. 9 at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in the Wendell Mitchell Conference Center, Greenville, AL.

Members of the community that wish to speak will have a maximum of three minutes to express how they feel their neighborhoods should fit into the new district lines being drawn due to new census data released in August.

The goal with moving these lines is to make sure all Alabama votes have equal weight. This is intended to ensure that all communities have the same access regarding the decision-making process that determines funding for hospitals, schools, and other essential services.

The result of these courses of action can be shaped by an involved community. Many coalitions and grassroots organizations have joined forces to ensure that the maps drawn by state legislators are fair and allow the voice of all Alabamians to be heard.

No one can speak better for the communities than members of the communities themselves. That is why it is imperative that local communities get involved in this process.

Attendees will have the liberty to let their legislators know what is important to their communities.

The public hearing in Greenville is available through live stream at  https://ballotpedia.org/Redistricting_in_Alabama_after_the_2020_census to watch. Those who are not able to attend, but wish to submit testimony may do so by Sept. 16 by emailing district@alsenate.gov.

The hearings may be attended in person by joining the meetings online through Microsoft Teams.

Links to all virtual hearings can be found at https://www.alabamanews.net/content/uploads/2021/08/q/a/2021-Legislative-Reapportionment-Public-Hearings-Final.pdf.

Those who are not able to attend a hearing in person but wish to submit testimony may do so by emailing district@alsenate.gov.