Public Redistricting Meetings Held in Bay Area

TAMPA (2011-8-29) -

The Florida House and Senate redistricting committees are holding a public meeting in Tampa tonight, as part of a statewide tour to gather public opinion on how best to redraw district lines.

At these hearings, the public will be able to speak directly to Florida legislators with their concerns and ideas.

State representative Will Weatherford said legislators will consider the input from the public meetings when they sit down to redistrict the state.

"You know the hope is to start taking the information we received and start looking at different parts of the state," said Weatherford. "We'll start looking at different options as to how we can draw the maps both legally and making sure that we’re protecting minority communities and giving them the ability to vote for candidates of their choice and at the same time reflecting what the citizens who show up at these hearings want."

The state's redistricting plans have come under scrutiny from the League of Women Voters, who argue that potential redistricting maps should be revealed to the public during these meetings instead of decided by legislators in private.

Tampa's public redistricting meeting is tonight, from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Jefferson High School in downtown Tampa. More public meetings will be held in the Bay area tomorrow. Largo residents can meet with the redistricting committees tomorrow morning from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, and Sarasota's meeting will be from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm tomorrow night.

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