Politics

Broward’s New District Maps Must Provide Fair Representation for African-Americans and Caribbean-Americans

Broward Redistricting Map B
Broward Redistricting Map B

[BROWARD COUNTY] – The rapid growth of South Florida’s African-American and Caribbean-American communities have impacted Broward County in a significant manner, shifting the demographic landscape of the second-most populous county in the state of Florida and the 17th-most populous county in the United States. Caribbean-Americans make up almost 15 percent of the county while Jamaicans and Haitians are put at conservatively 6 and 6.5 percent, according to the results of the 2020 census.

As a result of this flood of demographic change  the county, by law, must realign the boundaries of its nine county commission districts to reflect those changes. County Commissioners will vote on the final maps at two important hearings, the first of which will be on December 7, with final hearing on December 14th in the Commission Chambers.

Broward County Demographics

Broward is a majority-minority county where 31% of the population is Hispanic, 30% is Black and 33% is white, yet seven (7) of the nine (9) county commissioners are white. As of January 2022, eight (8) will be white and one black Republican will represent the County’s diverse population.

New Appointees

Gov. Ron DeSantis has appointed Jared Moskowitz to the commission in place of Barbara Sharief, (District 8) who resigned to run for Congress. Torey Alston will replace Dale Holness (District 9), who also resigned to run for Congress and lost the Democratic Primary by five (5) votes to Sheila Cherlifus-McCormick, a Haitian-American.

African-American and Caribbean-American voters in Broward County need to voice their opinions on the suggested maps to County Commissioners before they vote on December 7th, in order to retain or gain representation on the Broward Commission.

The new districts will be used in the 2022 election and through 2030 and cannot favor or disfavor any political party or incumbents.

Impact of New District Maps
Broward Redistricting Map C
Broward Redistricting Map C

Broward hired Florida International University, which held seven public hearings and has proposed a range of options in four maps — A, B, C and D — Two of the maps, A and C totally disenfranchise the Black Community, while Maps B and D provide a fair representation for both Blacks and Hispanics. To View the Maps visit the county’s website.

All four even-numbered districts are up for election in 2022, and the five odd-numbered seats are not due until 2024. The proposed maps A and C move much of District 8 to the renumbered District 7, while District 8 becomes a majority-Black seat in central Broward. Under those district numbers, voters in current District 8 would have to wait until 2024 to elect their representative.

Changing of the district number to disenfranchise voters of District 8, who over the years know that the even Districts vote during the gubernatorial race along with the mid-term elections, will strip them of the right to vote for their commissioner in 2022, if as per maps A & C, the district is changed to District 7.

Here they will have no opportunity to elect a person from their district for another two years (2024) and will be represented by current District 7 Commissioner Tim Ryan who lives outside the district. No other district numbers have been changed, is it because of race? Is district 8 too black/brown?

Over the last 20 years District 8 has been represented by either a Hispanic (Diana Wasserman-Rubin) or a Black Commissioner (Dr Barbara Sharief). Is this an attempt to roll back the clock? The numbers do not lie, and voters must fight to retain fair representation.

2020 Elected Officials

In 2020 African-Americans and Caribbean-Americans were elected to five key County positions. From sheriff, state attorney, public defender, supervisor of elections to clerk of courts. This shift reflects the change in the population of Broward as voters begin to see true representation in the now minority-majority county. This representation needs to be reflected on the Broward County Commission.

By law, districts must allow legally protected racial minorities to elect candidates of their choice, subject to detailed statistical analysis. Districts must be of equal size and be compact and contiguous. In addition, where possible, follow boundaries such as roads and waterways.

Take Action

Email or call your Broward County Commissioners and tell them to reject maps A and C and provide fair representation by voting maps B or D before the December 7th hearing.

District 1

Nan H. Rich – Website

nrich@broward.org Tel: 954-357-7001

 

District 2

Mark D. Bogen – Website

mbogen@broward.org Tel: 954- 357-7002

 

District 3

Mayor Michael Udine – Website

mudine@broward.org Tel: 954-357-7003

District 4

Vice Mayor Lamar P. Fisher – Website

lfisher@broward.org Tel: 954-357-7004

 

District 5

​Steve Geller – Website

sgeller@broward.org Tel: 954- 357-7005

 

District 6

Beam Furr – Website

bfurr@broward.org Tel: 954-357-7006

 

District 7

Tim Ryan – Website

tryan@broward.org Tel: 954-357-7007

 

District 8

Dr. Barbara Sharief – Website

bsharief@broward.org Tel: 954-357-7008

 

District 9

Dale V.C. Holness – ​Website

dholness@broward.org Tel: 954-357-7009

 

 

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