HB 515

From our partner Dr. Francys Johnson, President of the Georgia NAACP:
Freedom Fighters,

As President of the Georgia NAACP, I am urging you to TAKE ACTION NOW.This afternoon and Friday morning, the Georgia Senate will hold hearings on HB 515 changing district lines in at least 9 districts.

Legislators have blocked the public from viewing the proposed maps and public comments were denied during the previous House Committee hearings.

Voters should be the ones electing their representatives – not the other way around!

What can you do?

1. Attend the committee hearings!
Thursday, March 23rd at 4 PM in room 450 of the Capitol (206 Washington St., S.W., Atlanta 30334
Friday, March 24th at 8:15 AM in room 307 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building (18 Capitol Square, S.W., Atlanta 30334)

2. Contact the Senate Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee:

Ben Watson – ben.watson@senate.ga.gov; (404) 656-7880
William Ligon – william.ligon@senate.ga.gov; (404) 463-1383
Horacena Tate – horacena.tate@senate.ga.gov; (404) 463-8053
Matt Brass – matt.brass@senate.ga.gov; (404) 656-6446
Bill Cowsert – bill.cowsert@senate.ga.gov; (404) 463-1366
Vincent Fort – vincent.fort@senate.ga.gov; (404) 656-5091
Marty Harbin – marty.harbin@senate.ga.gov; (404) 656-0078
Ed Harbison – ed.harbison@senate.ga.gov; (404) 656-0074
Steve Henson – steve.henson@senate.ga.gov; (404) 656-0085
Hunter Hill – hunter.hill@senate.ga.gov; (404) 463-2518
David Shafer – david.shafer@senate.ga.gov; (404) 656-0048

“Hi. I’d like to leave a message for Sen. ________ regarding HB 515. I am very concerned about this bill. These maps have been made in secret and public participation has been blocked by legislators. Please vote no on HB 515 as these maps must be thoroughly vetted and include public input. Voters should be choosing their elected officials, not the other way around.”

 


 

This bill makes changes to nine House of Representatives districts, including shameless efforts to “shore up” the districts of vulnerable Republican Representatives by moving Democratic-leaning voters out of those districts.  HD-40, held by Rich Golick, and HD-111, held by Brian Strickland, are both districts that have been trending Democratic.

Instead of trying to fairly win re-election by virtue of providing good representation of the people in those districts, these Representatives just want to rig the districts to ensure their re-election.

The voters whose districts are impacted were not consulted.  In fact, the bill was filed the last day of February and then it was rushed out of committee the next day and on to the floor of the House the next legislative day.  NO PUBLIC COMMENT was permitted at the committee hearing, despite request.

Now we expect this shameful anti-democratic effort to be heard by the Senate Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee.  Please email and/or call the members of this committee (focusing on the Republicans, who I list below), as well as the Senate Republican leadership team, to tell them that you are watching and you oppose this sneaky, shameless effort to rig districts and squelch the will of the voters.  Tell them the voters get to choose their representatives — the representatives don’t get to choose their voters!

Committee Members

Dr. Ben Watson, Chairman (Republican, Savannah) (404) 656-7880ben.watson@senate.ga.gov

William Ligon Jr., Vice-Chairman (Republican, Brunswick) (404) 463-1383william.ligon@senate.ga.gov

Matt Brass (Republican, Newnan) (404) 656-6446matt.brass@senate.ga.gov

Bill Cowsert (Republican, Athens) (404) 463-1366bill.cowsert@senate.ga.gov

Marty Harbin (Republican, Tyrone) (404) 656-0078marty.harbin@senate.ga.gov

Hunter Hill (Republican, Smyrna) (404) 463-2518hunter.hill@senate.ga.gov

David Shafer (Republican, Duluth) (404) 656-0048david.shafer@senate.ga.gov

Other members of Senate leadership to contact:

Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle: (404) 656-5030

Senate Republican Whip Steve Gooch, Dahlonega: (404) 656-9221steve.gooch@senate.ga.gov

Senate Republican Chairman John F. Kennedy, Macon: (404) 656-0045john.kennedy@senate.ga.gov