Dear legislature: Give us a voice in redistricting

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“Make redistricting accessible to all”

It is often said that if elections are when voters choose their politicians, then redistricting is when politicians choose their voters. 

In few places has the cheeky adage rang as true as it has in the state of Florida, where in 2015 the state Supreme Court was forced to strike down our congressional and state senate maps for being blatantly unconstitutional per the Fair Districts Amendments voters passed overwhelmingly in 2010. 

That decision and its immediate consequences became one of my first formative experiences as a young citizen, when my home congressional district, Florida’s 7th, was redrawn to keep our county whole and include our minority communities. In the next election in 2016, a woman of color won our district for the first time ever, against a twelve-term white male incumbent who won by 31 points just two years earlier. 

That 2016 congressional election taught me, then a curious 14-year-old who was just becoming conscious of the civic community around me, how democracy doesn’t just depend on how individuals vote — it depends on how whole communities of people are represented. 

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