In the days since the Court invalidated our congressional map the eyes of the nation have turned, once again, to Florida.
But this time the story is one of hope and success. It is a story of citizens working together to put limits on elected officials so they will not be permitted to intentionally draw election districts to favor themselves and their parties.
The hope and success is a direct result of your support of the FairDistricts movement. Commentators all over the country are noticing that without the commitment, tenacity and dedication of the FairDistricts Coalition, the conspiracy between the legislature and their political operatives would never have been exposed. And without the passage of the FairDistricts Amendments, the conduct would be legal – not constitutionally prohibited.
Here is what they are saying:
The New Yorker: Jeffrey Toobin
"The Florida case is a rare thing when it comes to the dismal story of partisan manipulation of redistricting: a step in the right direction. There is [now] hope for reform in the work of several states besides Florida."
The Capital Gazette (Maryland)
"The victories in Florida ... have inspired groups like Common Cause and the League of Women Voters, which have chapters nationwide, to take on tougher challenges...."
Slate: Ron Klain
"Three cheers for [the] ruling in Florida—and three-times-three cheers for the coalition of progressive groups and labor unions who, four years ago, helped get the FairDistricts amendments passed. And food for thought for progressive organizers and activists around the country to replicate that success in more states over this decade, before the next set of lines is drawn."
Los Angeles Times: David Zucchino
"Florida voters passed the so-called FairDistricts Amendments in 2010 in an effort to eliminate districts that purposely favored one party or the other. ... [politicians] might have successfully concealed their plan and their actions from the public if a coalition of voters and the League of Women Voters of Florida had not filed suit."
The Chicago Tribune:
"The plaintiffs might have successfully concealed their scheme and their actions from the public, had it not been for the [Coalition's] determined efforts to uncover it."
The New York Times: Lizette Alvarez
"[The invalidation of the Congressional map was] a result of a lawsuit brought more than two years ago by the League of Women Voters and other groups, [and it] revealed the inner workings of the redistricting process ... ."
Florida's FairDistricts litigation is having an impact, not only in reshaping our own Congressional districts, but nationwide as other states watch our success and consider making their own reforms.
Without supporters like you, none of this would have been possible!
Tomorrow at 9 AM Judge Lewis will hold a hearing to discuss the process by which a new map will be put into place and the timing. Of course the Legislature is arguing for delay and for the right to re-draw the map itself. The FairDistricts Coalition is arguing for the court to either select or draw a remedial map immediately so elections in constitutional districts can be held as soon as possible. The hearing will be live streamed at the link below.
But before you tune in, will you please make a contribution to help pay to continue the fight. We have come so far. This is an expensive endeavor. Your immediate contribution is greatly needed and appreciated!
Our work to expose the Legislature's misconduct is costly. Your state and this effort need you now more than ever! Please help now.
P.S. Watch the proceedings tomorrow at 9 am at http://www.thefloridachannel.org