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Readers Respond

Baltimore County redistricting process excludes community members | READER COMMENTARY

I want to remind the residents of Baltimore County that they have the right to know what work the County Council is doing on their behalf, especially as it relates to redistricting.

The federal court’s decision to block implementation of the county’s plan was a huge win for the people — especially Black voters who were not equitably represented in the Council’s map proposal (“Judge strikes down new map of Baltimore County Council districts, saying it would disadvantage Black voters,” Feb. 24). The council was ordered to submit a new plan in compliance with the Voting Rights Act by March 8th. Even in that process, they decided to exclude their constituents to draw the new map, which will determine your political power for the next 10 years, in secrecy.

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Instead, the County Council has left their constituents digging through court documents, news articles and even reaching out to advocacy groups for information on the new map.

I’ve been monitoring the redistricting process throughout the state, and it’s fair to say that Baltimore County has had the least transparent process compared to other jurisdictions. Residents still have no information on the criteria used to draw the new map and no justification as to why the new proposal does not include a second majority-Black district, just like before the lawsuit.

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Baltimore County residents deserve better. Redistricting should prioritize the needs of communities, and that just is not possible when they are being shut out of the process.

— Aleksandra Petrovic, Annapolis

The writer is redistricting coordinator at Common Cause Maryland.

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