MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) — The U.S. Supreme court has required Alabama lawmakers to redraw the state’s congressional maps to come in compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1965.
Friday a public meeting hosted by the Democratic Caucus of the Alabama House of Representatives was held to look over one option… An option that could give mobile two voices in the US House of Representatives.
The t-shirt Shalela Dowdy wore features a map shown recently to the United States Supreme Court… one that played a major role in the court’s decision to require Alabama to redraw its congressional map to increase the number of minority dominated districts from one to two. Dowdy, a Mobile native and plaintiff in the Supreme Court case, says the port city is a big player in the way the map is drawn.
“Mobile is a majority black city. And so the citizens of Mobile deserve to be represented by someone who will listen to us. Right now I feel like the person we have in DC right now does not listen to us.”
Her map is the only map that has been made public by Alabama lawmakers, but it is expected there will be many others offered during next week’s special session in Montgomery.
Local democratic lawmakers says they are skeptical of those other maps because they haven’t been allowed to see them.
But they say they’re putting their support behind this one, in part because it’s already been looked at favorably by the court.
It creates a new district that incorporates parts of Mobile, Montgomery, as well as Alabama’s black belt. And should it hold, it would provide Mobile and the surrounding area with not one, but two voices in the US house of Representatives.
State representative Napoleon Bracey says that could bode well for the city.
“The bridge is very important,” he said, referring to the i-10 Mobile River Bridge project, “and the port is very important, the defense industry here is very, very important, the aerospace industry is very important, we have so many- you have the catfish industry in different part of the district… there are so many things we can come together and make a difference together… two is more than one.”
State Senator Vivian Figures says she’s skeptical state lawmakers will pass Dowdy’s map. but one will eventually pass.
“We will go through the motions and the three judge panel will either not accept it,” she says, “or I believe the plaintiffs will object again and then the three judge panel will be left with no choice but to appoint a special master to either chose a map or draw one.”
The federal court has given Alabama lawmakers until next Friday to redraw the state’s congressional map and present it to the court.
The state legislature is set to meet in special session next week to redraw those maps.
if Mobile does play host to the new minority congressional district, state representative Bracey tells NBC 15 news tonight he is seriously considering a run for the office.
Source : NBC 15 WPMI