TALLAHASSEE, FL -- On Tuesday, the Jacksonville City Council voted to pass new Council and School Board maps that dilute Black voting power and further divide communities. The Council map packs more than half of the city’s Black residents into four districts (on the 19-member Council), and splits nearly 50 of the city’s neighborhoods.
The new maps will dilute the voting power of Black communities in Jacksonville and reduce their influence in future elections.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida, ACLU of Florida Northeast Chapter, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Jacksonville NAACP, Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, and Harriet Tubman Freedom Fighters (HTFF), are among the civil rights groups denouncing the vote. They urge Mayor Curry to veto these unconstitutional racial gerrymanders, and call on the Council to pass a new, fair plan that serves all Jacksonville residents.
Isaiah Rumlin, president of the Jacksonville NAACP, responded to Tuesday night’s vote:
“These maps fail to reflect the full richness of our city. Anti-voter politicians on the Council have unnecessarily ‘packed’ four districts with Black residents, diminishing Black voters’ influence in other districts. This tactic minimizes the voices of Black voters in our elections and denies us equal representation to advocate for how city services are allocated, and communities are governed.”
Ben Frazier, president of the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville:
“Throughout the redistricting process, the Council failed to listen to the concerns of the people. The gerrymandered end product is emblematic of the unresponsiveness we see all too often from our politicians in Duval County. We deserve a plan that adequately represents the people.”
Michelle Charron Hollie, president of the ACLU of Florida Northeast Chapter:
“Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. Everyone should have the right to make their voices heard at the ballot box – and to have that vote matter, not be diluted or diminished by gerrymandering. Throughout this process, citizens demanded fair maps, but our voices were not just ignored – they were stifled. Jacksonville deserves better.”
Jack Genberg, senior staff attorney with SPLC:
“These maps would diminish the voices of Black communities, and we cannot allow that to happen. SPLC stands with the communities of Jacksonville in calling on Mayor Curry to veto these discriminatory maps, in calling on the City Council to replace them with maps that provide equal representation, and in vowing to push back in any way we can against this attempt to diminish the voices of Black voters in Jacksonville.”