What’s alarming about these cities is the fact that more Americans are born each year, than pass away. Couple this with the fact that hundreds of thousands of immigrants arrive in the United States each year, and most cities see their population grow, rather than shrink.
Cynthia Tucker wakes up and realizes the federal requirement that we protect majority-minority political districts is actually bad for African-Americans. Racial gerrymanding allows Republicans to ignore them and facilitates the election of people like Cynthia McKinney, Tucker says.
If black voters think they have made substantial gains simply by having more black representatives in Congress, they’re wrong. They’d have more influence if they were spread through several legislative districts, forcing more candidates to court them.
The political landscape has been transformed since the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965 and amended 17 years later. The election of a black president shows that American voters are willing to look beyond a candidate’s skin color. It’s time to give up racial gerrymandering, which turned out not to be quite so benign.
I disagree with her that ending racial gerrymandering will decrease the number of elected Republicans but I do agree it allows Republicans to ignore African-Americans. I would also add that it has contributed to the racial polarization of our political parties which is not a good development, especially here in Georgia.
The 2010 Census showed many African-Americans had moved to the suburbs. Ending racial gerrymandering will acknowledge this reality. As Kyle Wingfield said some months ago, the end of identity politics might be at hand and what a glorious day that will be.
The mystery of the “missing” 120,000 people in Atlanta continues. 11Alive reports that a review may be done “house by house” if necessary to try and figure out what happened. It’s not clear who will be doing the review but with redistricting coming up, the stakes are high for Atlanta’s politicians.
Discrepancies with the number of vacancies in the city appear to be to blame for the ostensible downward shift in the population. Those empty properties were originally thought to be about 10 percent, when in fact they now appear to be closer to 17 percent.
But those numbers will likely be intensely reviewed, house by house if necessary, to get a more accurate picture of Atlanta’s continuing growth. It is not out of the question that a team of demographic examiners could be brought together to pore over key information from utility bills to tax records to see who actually is living where.
The AJC’s Kyle Wingfield took notice of an interesting and unexpected item from the recently released Census data: A sizable number of African-Americans moved from Atlanta to suburban counties like Gwinnett and Cobb.
While many minority voters accustomed to picking Democrats will stick to that habit, at least for a while, people ultimately vote their interests. The Democratic Party traditionally has aligned itself with many of the interests of urban minorities. But when those voters move to the ’burbs, they may well decide that the GOP offers better solutions to the different problems they find there.
If so, whole blocs of voters may be newly open to ideas they didn’t embrace before. Either way, a lessening of the usual identity politics will be good for us all.
Education I suspect, is a major factor in African-Americans moving to the ‘burbs. Public schools in Cobb and Gwinnett are better, on the whole, than those in the City. The impact this has on politics in the metro are will be interesting to watch.
The data for redistricting, courtesy of the US Census Bureau, should be arriving at the state capitol sometime today and will be released for your downloading pleasure at 2p today. See the full presser here.
Yeah, we still have a few legislative days before the special session opens up for redistricting, but this will give you number-crunching geeks out there to get ready and speculate on how the new lines will be drawn and who will be the 14th congressman for the great state of Georgia.
That’s right, today is December 25th, and that now means it’s Jason Pye’s birthday.
As you wind down your Christmas celebrations, please take a moment and wish our resident Libertarian and Peach Pundit Assistant Editor a very happy birthday.
Though I’ve been trying to start the rumor that he would be turning 45 today, he claims it’s his 30th. Regardless, he’s been celebrating for a week, and I hope being snowed in gives him one more day of Pyepalooza.
Charles Bullock and the Black brothers made multi-decade careers and reputations for themselves by issuing Nostradamus-esque prophecies about eventual Republican control of the South. Like Nostradamus, they attached no dates to these forecasts. They started saying Republican takeover was inevitable as early as Ronald Reagan’s first term, and it didn’t happen in Georgia at least until George W. Bush’s second, but hey it happened eventually. One of them even wrote a book in 1992 saying Democrats couldn’t win the Presidency anymore because they couldn’t win Southern states, less than a year later Bill Clinton won the Presidency and a number of Southern states.
Well I’m here today to take a page out of this ancient playbook and here is my prophecy: The Democrats are on their way back to controlling this state and much of the South (particularly the parts that are worth controlling, like Georgia). And unlike when Bullock and the Blacks started making theirs, I don’t think it will take 4 presidents and nearly 3 decades. I know we’re a little census crazed, and we’re actually limited to what all we can learn until the Census Department releases more detailed data, specifically county counts. But fear not – there is plenty of data that allows us to make some educated guesses, and let’s do that…
From State Senator Buddy Carter:
Question: What two things do Athens, Atlanta, Carrollton, Commerce, Gainesville, Hull, Rome, and Winterville, GA have in common?
Answer: They are the home of the recent winners of state wide offices in the state of Georgia and they are all located in north Georgia.
Of course I’m talking about Bob Hanner and Gerald Greene, the newest members of team GOP. Why are they problems? The more the merrier, right? Well, not exactly. For one thing, the two newest Republicans both represent districts that Roy Barnes won. In Hanner’s district, I estimate that Roy got 51% to Deal’s 47%. I had to do some estimation for Lee County – don’t have the precincts there, but I do know that Hanner’s district has approx 29% of Lee county’s voters and it’s also twice as African American as the overall county, so I made some conservative adjustments to account for that.
Greene’s district is easy – 6 whole counties. Roy got 50%, Deal got 48%. So that’s obviously a problem, these are two districts that the GOP could have cast to the dustbin of history in redistricting (except for one problem – they are heavily African American). But here’s the other problem – these districts are disappearing. According to 2009 census estimates (which tend to undercount urban areas which means the numbers will actually be even worse) Hanner and Greene’s districts have a population of approximately 44,000 people each. Well here’s the problem – Georgia’s population is estimated to be 9.8 million, and 1/180th of that is 54,606. That means that each one of these districts will go into redistricting at about 80% of the population needed to make a district, meaning that they’ll each need to come up with an additional 15% or so (under Roy rules) or 19% (under Larios rules). And you better believe I personally will file a lawsuit if the GOP dares go outside the +/- 1% variation, as my rights are likely to be violated just like the lovely Ms. Larios.
So how do you fix these guys in redistricting? Well let’s look at the districts that surround them. North? Nah, African American Columbus districts. Won’t help. Northeast – Mike Cheokas, he’ll either switch too or maintain his base of Sumter county, won’t help. Maybe you can help Hanner out in Lee county – but how many Republican activists that were hoping to have their own district to run in will you piss off? Now to Greene…north, no sorry that’s Hanner and even if Hanner moves into Lee sorry game over play again these are majority AA counties. East – Winfred Dukes AA district. Southeast – sorry Republican Decatur/Grady county district and BOTH of these counties have failed to grow at the rate of Georgia overall, which means a Republican who isn’t a RINO will probably have first dibs on extra population. What about South and West – thanks for playing but sorry that is Florida and Alabama.
Have fun with that guys. Isn’t an independent commission or a judge starting to look pretty ideal right about now so you don’t have to settle these family feuds yourself?
Reapportionment also known as redistricting has become a rallying cry by some voters as they head to the polls now and over the coming days to cast their vote for Governor.
In many ways, I think that some are misinformed about how redistricting is currently done in Georgia. The Legislature currently draws the lines and the Governor signs or vetoes the bill. If you trust your member of the Legislature to draw fair and balanced district lines, then fear of redistricting is just another pointless scare tactic being used to mislead voters from the truly important issues facing our state like creating a climate for robust job growth, education, and addressing our long overdue transportation problems.
The model of proper legal and ethical redistricting in our country is conducted by the State of Iowa. In Iowa, “The legislature has the final responsibility for enacting both congressional and state legislative district plans, but the nonpartisan Legislative Services Bureau has initial responsibility. It must develop up to three plans that can be accepted or rejected by the legislature. The plans are criteria-driven, meaning that the bureau draws districts based on clear, measurable criteria.”
The four criteria, in descending order of importance are: 1) population equality; 2) contiguity; 3) unity of counties and cities (maintaining county lines and inserting house districts within senate districts and senate districts within congressional districts); and 4) compactness. A five-member commission consisting of four civilian members chosen by each caucus in the legislature, and a fifth chairperson chosen by the commission, is responsible for advising the bureau, but only upon their request. If the legislature does not approve the first three plans by the bureau, it must itself approve a plan by September 1st, or the state supreme court will take responsibility for the state districts. The Governor has veto power over both plans.
You can read more about Iowa’s redistricting process here.
As proposed by Roy Barnes, and supported by Governor Sonny Perdue, Georgia needs an Independent non-partisan commission, very similar to Iowa’s plan, to draw district lines. It will be more transparent, ensure that back room deals do not trump local community integrity, and actually give us fair districts. The current system allows personally drawn districts that benefits incumbents first, personal ambition second, and party dominance third.
Now it’s on the front page, so you can quit emailing me.
And for Deal’s band of merry sock puppets, please be consistent in your approach of explaining why this out of state Governor who doesn’t know Camilla or Ocilla is relevent, but Governor’s Jan Brewer, Mitt Romney, and Sarah Palin aren’t.
Georgia Republican Party Releases New Video: “Roy is Sorry”
Atlanta—The Georgia Republican Party released a new video today
highlighting Roy Barnes’ numerous apologies to the many constituents he angered during his term. The video is part of the Georgia Republican Party’s noROYalty website (www.noroyalty.org), which encourages Georgia voters to deny Barnes’ quest for re-election.
“Roy can apologize all he wants but Georgians haven’t forgotten the failures during his tenure,” said Georgia Republican Party Chairman Sue Everhart. “We won’t hit rewind and return to a failing Barnes administration.”
Barnes was the first Governor to fail to achieve re-election since the 1970 law that allowed Georgia governors to succeed themselves.