BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. — Critics of a proposed redistricting map in Baltimore County held a march and rally Tuesday to demand the county council go back to the drawing board and create what they believe is a fair map.
“The issue is that it just doesn’t represent the community,” said Danielle Singley, who is the executive director of the Randallstown NAACP.
Currently, the council is proposing to have five of seven districts majority white and the other as a white plurality.
However, the new map failed to create a second majority black district, despite calls to do so by civil rights groups
“Every vote matters. Everyone should have an equal chance to make their voice heard,” said Sonia Shah, who is an organizer with the Baltimore County Coalition for Fair Maps. “If we have nearly half of the people in the county are people of color then why is it fair six out of seven districts are dominated by a white majority.”
Shaw said the council’s proposal packs Black voters into one single majority district, which in turn dilutes their voting power.
“That means that are black voters have less of a voice in Baltimore County and they’re trying to lock that in for the next 10 years,” she said.
Back in October, Chair of the County Council Julian Jones told WMAR-2 News that it will be difficult to create a second majority Black district because the population is too spread out.
Singley disagrees and believes the council can create another Black majority.
She said the NAACP and other civil rights groups are demanding the council make the change and threatens to sue if it doesn’t happen.
“Having districts redrawn to reflect the diversity of the community will more than likely produce candidates that look more like the community, represent the ideals of the community and have the cultural competency to represent the community,” Singley said.
The county council will hold a public hearing on the redistricting map on December 14th
The council doesn’t have to vote on the map until the end of January, but there could a final vote made on the 20th.