Key Takeaways from EmpowerMap Symposium
159 Georgia Together partnered with Fair Districts Georgia, the host of the EmpowerMap Symposium on Jan. 28. Fair Districts Georgia is a nonpartisan initiative to fight gerrymandering and support redistricting reform.
EmpowerMap had more than 125 participants attend in addition to more than 125 watching the live stream. Here are a few of the key takeaways:
- Georgia is the most gerrymandered state in the country.
- Our democracy is being undermined, as Georgia elections have become less competitive.
- Constituents should be able to elect and choose their legislators. Legislators should not be allowed to choose their constituents.
- Gerrymandering is a type of voter suppression that elevates one set of citizens votes over another.
- We must de-politicize our redistricting process to make our elections fair again.
- Gerrymandering is not right vs. left ... but right vs. wrong.
What can you do to speak out against gerrymandering in Georgia? Our friends, Fair Districts Georgia, recommend:
Calling or emailing the “Big 4” — those who have the most influence over which legislation gets attention. Tell them your name, that you are a Georgia voter [If you are from their area, let them know!], why you are concerned about gerrymandering, and ask that SR 6 and SR 7, legislation to create a nonpartisan independent redistricting commission, get a substantive committee hearing and vote this session.
- Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (from the Gainesville area, former state senator for Hall County) 240 State Capitol SW, Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone: (404) 656-5030
- Sen. Butch Miller (president pro tempore of the Georgia Senate) for District 49 (in the Gainesville area = Casey Cagle’s old Senate district)
321 State Capitol Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone: (404) 656-6578
- Sen. Bill Cowsert (Majority Leader) for District 46 in the Athens area
236 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone: (404) 463-1366
- Sen. Matt Brass (chair of the Reapportionment & Redistricting Committee) for District 28 (Newman area)
327-B Coverdell Legislative Office Building, Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone: (404) 463-1376