KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee Democratic lawmakers are seeking to answer the question of: What should East Tennessee’s political map look like for the next 10 years?
State Representatives Gloria Johnson and Sam McKenzie will host an online community meeting on Thursday, Sept. 16 along with Senators Raumesh Akbari (Memphis) and Jeff Yarbro (Nashville).
The group of lawmakers is seeking input from Knox County residents regarding their neighborhoods and how the legislature could better serve the needs of their community. They will be using what they learn from the meeting to inform the legislature on what would best suit Knox County in the upcoming redistricting.
That meeting is scheduled for noon on Thurs., and you can register for that meeting here.
“How the political maps are drawn will affect every issue our families face for a decade whether you’re concerned about student funding, the cost of health care, or access to child care,” said meeting host Rep. Johnson. “Politicians carved up our communities for political gain 10 years ago. Today, solutions start with enacting fair maps, where Tennesseans pick their leaders — instead of politicians picking their voters.”
Redistricting takes place every 10 years after the census data is released, and analyzed. The goal is to produce new political maps that would allow each district to have an equal population.
“From the fight for civil rights to making our voices heard in record numbers at the ballot box in the last election, when we band together, we can create lasting change,” Rep. McKenzie said. “But right now, some power-hungry politicians want to divide our communities in an attempt to silence some of our families based on where they live. We have to join together and speak out for fair districts to ensure our communities thrive for the next 10 years and generations that follow.”
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This meeting will be the first in a series of other planned public meetings statewide by Democrats in the Tennessee General Assembly. They say these public meetings are meant to ensure fairness when developing fair maps that keep cities and communities whole.