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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: 

  1. Georgia is the most gerrymandered state in the country.
  2. Our democracy is being undermined, as Georgia elections have become less competitive.
  3. Constituents should be able to elect and choose their legislators. Legislators should not be allowed to choose their constituents.
  4. Gerrymandering is a type of voter suppression that elevates one set of citizens votes over another.
  5. We must de-politicize our redistricting process to make our elections fair again.
  6. 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.

The Numbers

  1. 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
  2. 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 
    Email: butch.miller@senate.ga.gov
  3. Sen. Bill Cowsert (Majority Leader) for District 46 in the Athens area
    236 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334    
    Phone: (404) 463-1366   
  4. 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