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Redistricting education tour launches amid Florida's congressional map lawsuit

Vaul Alexander
/
Equal Ground Action Fund

Plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging Florida’s new congressional map have launched a statewide tour aimed at educating Black voters about changes to U.S. House district lines.

Orlando-based voting rights group Equal Ground is helping organize the six-week tour, which began last week and runs through Oct. 6. The goal is to educate community leaders who can share what they learn with ordinary voters, explained Jasmine Burney-Clark, co-founder of Equal Ground.

“We’re not expecting a ton of folks to show up," said Burney-Clark. "We’re expecting the right people who want to take their engagement to the next level and grow a network of folks who want to build with us and learn for the long run.”

Advocates will share presentations that explain how gerrymandering works and what districts looked like before the lines were drawn and where the boundaries are under the new map.

Florida's new congressional map cuts in half the number of districts where Black voters can elect their candidate of choice. Florida League of Women Voters, Black Voters Matter and Florida Rising are also organizing the tour.

They started in Seminole County last week. They’ll end the tour in Duval County next month to reach voters in the old map's 5th Congressional District, which also includes parts of Leon County.

Here's a list of the upcoming tour stops:

  • Orange County - Sept. 7

  • Osceola County - Sept. 12

  • Hillsborough County - Sept. 13-14

  • Miami-Dade County - Sept. 15

  • Duval County - Oct. 6

The state's new congressional map — which Gov. Ron DeSantis' office drafted before lawmakers passed it — is facing legal challenges in state and federal court.
Plaintiffs bringing the complaint in state court argue the map violates the state constitution's Fair Districts Amendments, which bans intentional partisan gerrymandering and diminishing minority group's ability to elect a candidate of their choice.

Copyright 2022 WFSU. To see more, visit WFSU.

Valerie Crowder is a freelance reporter based in Panama City, Florida. Before moving to Florida, she covered politics and education for Public Radio East in New Bern, North Carolina. While at PRE, she was also a fill-in host during All Things Considered. She got her start in public radio at WAER-FM in Syracuse, New York, where she was a part-time reporter, assistant producer and host. She has a B.A. in newspaper online journalism and political science from Syracuse University. When she’s not reporting the news, she enjoys reading classic fiction and thrillers, hiking with members of the Florida Trail Association and doing yoga.