Letter: Courts must order fair redrawing of districts

It was nice to see the Catonsville Times solicit readers' responses ("Speak out now if you see unfairness in redistricting," Catonsville Times, Jan. 11) if they consider Maryland's redistricting plan unfair.

There is no unfairness in the idea of redistricting for it is required by the United States Constitution.

The unfairness comes in the partisan process.

When the constitution was written, there were no political parties as we have today. No Democrats, no Republicans, just citizens — equal numbers of them in each district.

Gov.Martin O'Malleyappointed a five-member committee to help draw the new redistricting line.

One member of the committee is going to jail for tax issues. Two others head the state legislature — Del. Michael Busch, the Democratic Speaker of the House of Delegates, and state Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller, the Democratic president of the state Senate. He is the same Mike Miller who warned that Democrats would bury Republicans so deep that they would not raise their heads for another 20 years. This is fair?

In the article in the Jan. 11 edition of the Catonsville Times, written by Brian Conlin, the subtitle "State representatives upset area is still in two districts" leads us to think that District 12A delegates are heartbroken. Yet there has not been a word of protest from either of them. These politicians are already preparing to work the more liberal areas of Howard County. The new boundaries don't go into effect until November, 2014.

How about representing all of present 12A, including the portion redistricted into 44B, until after the 2014 legislature session?

In response to the issue of redistricting, Del. Steve DeBoy was quoted as saying, "It's a very political process. There's nothing clean or pretty about it." Seems to me he knows the process is not fair.

In the second story, state Sen. Delores Kelley raises some important issues ("Proposal would create new Catonsville district") about the constitutionality of the redistricting of districts 10 and 44B. At least, she is willing to speak up when she thinks something is wrong, unlike the Mike Busch puppets that represent District 12A today.

I understand there have been unfair voting practices regarding black voters. For years, the courts have ordered states to create minority districts to right some of these wrongs.

In Maryland, two new majority minority districts have been created, with District 44B one of them.

District 44B was also established to protect Baltimore City's power base by protecting Democratic state Sen.Verna Jones-Rodwellof District 44.

There is a predominantly black community along Winters Lane and Old Frederick Road. Why weren't they made a part of District 44B?

Blacks and whites, Democrats and Republicans, have been considered in the redistricting plan but one group has been left out. What about the Independent voters? Where do they fit in? Who is looking out for their interests?

Because of the total disregard of communities and blatant gerrymandering shown by the redistricting plan, I call for the federal courts to step in and order a non-partisan committee be created to redo the redistricting map. Now that would be fair.

Albert Nalley Sr.


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