After Georgia Republicans shelved their proposed Gwinnett power grab last year due to public outcry, they are now once again attempting to quickly and quietly push new local maps through the legislature without offering the public time to give meaningful input.
The Republican-run Committee on Government Affairs passed the GOP’s new Gwinnett maps this morning after a hearing at 8:00am, just hours after Republican State Rep. Bonnie Rich unilaterally released the maps yesterday – completely bypassing the local legislative process and without majority support from Gwinnett legislators or commissioners.
Republicans’ proposed map would “split historically Black communities in southern Gwinnett and the Latino community in western Gwinnett” while drawing three incumbents out of their current districts – forcing one to move to a new district within the next month in order to run for re-election and forcing one to move or live outside of his district for the remaining two years of his term.
This GOP attempt at racial gerrymandering comes after historic elections in which voters in Gwinnett – the most diverse county in Georgia – elected Democrats to every seat on the county commission, including the first Black woman ever to chair the commission. It is part of a disturbing trend this legislative session in which Republican legislators are seeking to “significantly shift the power” of local governance in increasingly diversifying and Democratic-leaning areas.
“Georgia Republicans’ blatant power grab in Gwinnett is part and parcel of their ongoing effort to subvert the will of voters – especially voters of color. The GOP knows they can’t win on ideas, so they are distorting the maps at all levels of government and silencing voters in a desperate attempt to hold on to power,” said Rebecca Galanti, spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “As Republicans attempt to shove new local maps through the legislature under the cover of darkness, Democrats will continue fighting for maps that reflect the will of voters.”
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