Fight for Fair Maps in Baltimore County
It’s time to GET LOUD!
The fight for fair maps is moving fast in Baltimore County. On Monday, March 21, the court will hear arguments over the Council’s lightly redrawn map, for which they spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars and yet still failed to create a second Black district as required by the Voting Rights Act.
As the ACLU points out in their scorching submission to the court, which you can read in full here, “Vote dilution cannot be remedied by a plan that maintains white veto power over Black choices, yet that is what the County proposes…a plan that 1) continues to dilute the votes of Black voters in District 2 through cracking of their communities in a way that keep them the signiifcant minority by ten percentage points, only able to elect their chosen candidates if white voters approve of those choices; while also 2) packing Black voters into District 4. This scheme violates the Voting Rights Act.”
The county’s lightly redrawn District 2 is not the “coalition” or majority-minority district the County claims it is. As the ACLU points out, 52.1% of the voters in the district are white, while only 47.4% of the voters in the district are non-white.
The county is playing games when they say otherwise–their stats include all District 2 residents of voting age, even though a significant proportion are not citizens and thus are not eligible to vote!
If the court rejects the Council’s map, the County is poised to appeal.
The Baltimore County Council has hired an expensive law firm and has indicated that it may appeal the court’s decision. This would be a waste of our hard-won tax dollars (check out this list of what the $850,000 or more the Council has agreed to pay their law firm could buy for our county!), a violation of our civil rights, and a shameful amplification of the nationwide assault on the voting rights of Black and Brown voters.
Let’s make sure they do the right thing instead!
Take action now!
- Attend the press conference Friday March 18 at 11 am at Patriot Plaza in Towson. Representatives from ACLU, Baltimore County NAACP, Common Cause, League of Women voters and Baltimore County Coalition for Fair Maps among others will be speaking out. We need to show that they have wide support among fair maps advocates!
- Plan to tune in to the hearing on Monday March 21 at 2 pm. There will be a public call-in line which we will share as soon as it’s available. We’ll be live tweeting and livestreaming too.
- We have an excellent opportunity to make our voices heard directly to the Council and to the press in the hours after Monday’s hearing, at the Council’s regularly scheduled Monday night meeting at 6 pm. We need as many folks as possible to speak out. Sign up here.
We deserve fair maps that protect the freedom of voters to choose their representatives–not the other way around!
Baltimore County is now 30% Black and 47% non-white, but to protect their own re-elections, the council is proposing that 6 of 7 districts remain dominated by white majorities & pluralities for the next 10 years (see the Council map here). That’s a violation of the Voting Rights Act, according to the ACLU of Maryland and Baltimore County chapters of NAACP!
If you agree that the people of Baltimore County deserve fair maps that provide fair representation on the council, on our school boards, and on our commissions–let the Baltimore County Council know!
- Endorse our statement of demands, below, and share it with your networks. The bigger our coalition is, the more powerful we can be.
- Write to the Baltimore County Council. They need to hear that their constituents want fair maps.
- Share our content on social media to amplify our demands. Twitter. Facebook. Fair Maps social media assets.
- Recruit your friends and neighbors to endorse the coalition. Here are flyers which can be printed for distribution.
- Keep sending email, FB posts, and tweets in favor of FAIR MAPS and against the Council’s map. How about some letters about the outrageous process they call a public meeting? Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statement of Demands
The people of Baltimore County deserve a fair map that protects our freedom to elect representatives that truly represent us!
As the County Council redraws the district map, we urge them to adhere to the following criteria, which have already been met by multiple maps submitted to the Council by Randallstown NAACP, ACLU of Maryland and others.
By meeting these criteria, we are confident that the Council can create a fair map for the people of Baltimore County.
To create a fair map the County Council should:
- Create three districts in which racial minorities comprise the majority, in compliance with the Voting Rights Act.
- Keep neighborhoods intact, as required by the County charter.
- Proceed with transparency, so that the public can meaningfully engage in the process. That means the Council must:
- Create multiple maps for public comment, not just one.
- Make the redistricting mapping tool public, not exclusive to Council or commission members.
- Release proposed maps in computer-accessible machine-readable form, so members of the public can analyze it, not just the Council.
This statement is endorsed by:
Anne George, Baltimore County Democratic State Central Committee
Sonia Shah, Allies for Democracy
Peta Richkus, Indivisible Towson
Danny Golombek, Baltimore County Progressive Democrats Club
Ryan Coleman, Randallstown NAACP
Danielle Singley, Randallstown NAACP
Cheryl Gottlieb, Together We Will–Baltimore area
Sheldon H Laskin, Baltimore County Progressive Democrats and Jews United for Justice
Rose Kinder, Towson resident
Dara Friedman-Wheeler, Allies for Democracy and Be the Change Baltimore
Colleen Ebacher, Allies for Democracy
Carla Johnson, Indivisible Towson
Silvia Golombek, Allies for Democracy
Victoria Vestrich, Indivisible Towson
Fergal Mullally, Indivisible Towson
Crosby King, Indivisible Towson
Kathleen Dott, Resident, Baltimore Co. Council District 3
Daryl Yoder, Showing Up for Racial Justice, Baltimore County
Tom Glancy, Indivisible Towson/Allies for Democracy
Donna DeLeno Neuworth
Danyell Smith, Black Women for Positive Change, Baltimore/Central Committee
Joanne Antoine, Common Cause Maryland
Patty Mochel, Green Towson Alliance
Crystal Peters, Lutherville
Sheila Ruth, MD State Delegate 44B
Jason Prenoveau, Rodgers Forge Neighbors for Equity
Elizabeth Prenoveau, Rodgers Forge Neighbors for Equity
Joe Adams, Indivisible Towson
Sharon Davlin, Indivisible Towson
Liz Scarito, Baltimore County Progressive Democrats
Marc Rubin, Baltimore County Progressive Democrats
Liz Entwisle, Allies for Democracy
Erin Goley, Rodgers Forge Neighbors for Equity
Gwendolyn Adams, Owings Mills Overlook
Alejandra Ivanovich, Baltimore County Democratic State Central Committee and Amigos of Baltimore County
Bonnie Smith, Baltimore County Progressive Democrats Club
Joy Brown, Indivisible Towson
Nina McHugh, Democratic Central Committee
Samantha Paschke, Pikesville
Ricarra Jones, 1199SEIU
Barbara L. Hopkins, Esq.
Beth Bone Miller, Green Towson Alliance
Elizabeth Johnson, Baltimore County resident
Ann Snoeyenbos, Green Towson Alliance
Mark Weaver, Southwest Baltimore County Democratic Club
Dana Vickers Shelley, Pikesville resident
Sandy Gurchik, The Penthouse Condos
Robin Harvey, Baltimore County resident
Laurence Fogelson, Towson resident
Marie Grant, Resident, Baltimore County Council District 1
Ty Ford, Baltimore County resident
Jean Cushman, Baltimore County resident
Aletheia McCaskill, Candidate for the 44Bth District
Becky Bass, Baltimore County resident
Kelly Buchanan, Baltimore County resident
Jackie Regales, Baltimore County resident
Connie Bailey, Baltimore County Resident – Catonsville
Markell Kelly, Baltimore County resident
Ericka McDonald, League of Women Voters Baltimore County
Rovan Wernsdorfer, SURJ
Tracy Miller, Baltimore County resident, District 2
Linda Dorsey-Walker, Baltimore County Democratic State Central Committee
Ron Lambert, Allies for Democracy
Benjamin Lawrence, resident, Pikesville
Melanie Gibbons, Baltimore County resident
Rebecca Scharf, Indivisible Catonsville, Southwest Baltimore County Democratic Club
Margaret Henn, Southwest Baltimore County Democratic Club
Lauren Jones, Baltimore County resident
Andrew Miller, Pikesville resident
Eric Ford, Hilltop Community Association
Julia Graham, Baltimore County resident
Dawna Cobb, Baltimore County resident
Nora Miller Smith, Baltimore County resident
Claude Guillemard, Timonium resident
Lauren Jones, Baltimore County resident
Andrew Miller, Pikesville resident
Terri Hill, MD State Delegate District 12
Bryen Glass, Lochearn Improvement Association
Ian Miller, Catonsville Youth Organizer
Elihu El, Baltimore County Progressive Democratic Club
Dottie Towsley, Retired Baltimore County Public School Teacher
Donald Nelson, Insure Our Future
ACLU of Maryland
Allies for Democracy
Amigos of Baltimore County
Baltimore County Progressive Democrats Club
Common Cause Maryland
Green Towson Alliance
Indivisible Central Maryland
League of Women Voters of Baltimore County
Lochearn Improvement Association
Our Revolution Baltimore City/County
SEIU 1199 – United Healthcare Workers East
Showing Up for Racial Justice–Baltimore County
Southwest Baltimore County Democratic Club
Together We Will, Baltimore
-for the Baltimore County Coalition for Fair Maps
Press releases from the Baltimore County Coalition for Fair Maps
- New Coalition for Fair Maps Forms in Baltimore County, November 10, 2021
- Is Public Access to Interactive Maps Technically Possible? For Redistricting Maps, Baltimore County Council Secretary Says “No,” November 11, 2021
- Time to step up for fair maps in Baltimore County: Baltimore County Council’s latest district map violates Voting Rights Act, again, November 16, 2021
- Outrage over unfair maps boils over in Baltimore County: new actions planned, November 29, 2021
- Over 150 letters opposing district map excluded from the public record, December 3, 2021
- Voters across Baltimore County to march and rally for fair maps, December 7, 2021
- We marched for fair maps in Baltimore county last night, December 8, 2021
- Citizens to hand-deliver the people’s testimony to Baltimore County Council, December 19, 2021
Why we need fair maps
- Youth rally in Towson calls for representation, in Baltimore County redistricting and elsewhere, Baltimore Sun, December 18, 2021
- Civil Rights Advocates, Residents Continue Calls for Second Majority Black Baltimore County Council District, Maryland Matters, December 15, 2021
- Baltimore County presses on with redistricting proposal despite criticism there is only one majority Black district, Baltimore Sun front-page story, December 13, 2021 [NOTE: The council map does not “create” District 1 as a majority-minority district, as stated in this article. District 1 as drawn in the proposed council map already exists.]
- Candlelight March and Rally for Fair Maps, December 7, 2021
- What Are Fair Maps? And Why People Care. One-page explainer
- What’s Wrong with the Council Map? A data visualization
- ACLU/NAACP press release, letter to Baltimore County Council, and proposed new map
- ACLU/NAACP alternative redistricting plans 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
- NAACP Randallstown proposed redistricting map
- The Baltimore County Commission’s proposed map and report
- “Baltimore County wants fair maps,” Medium essay by Peta Richkus
- “Untying the ‘white noose’ of Baltimore County,” Baltimore Sun op-ed by Sonia Shah
- Population demographics and redistricting in Baltimore County, slide presentation by Fergal Mullally
- Baltimore County needs to rewrite its council district map, Baltimore Sun commentary by Danny Golombek
- “Fair maps a must for Baltimore County,” Forward Baltimore essay by Peta Richkus
- “League of Women Voters: Baltimore County should adopt ACLU redistricting proposal,” Baltimore Sun commentary by Ericka McDonald:
- “Green Towson Alliance Asks the Baltimore County Council to Reject the Proposed Councilmanic Redistricting Map,” Green Towson Alliance
- “Baltimore county deserves fair maps,” Forward Baltimore essay by Danny Golombek
- Bevins violates council residency requirement, The Peake, October 2021
- “Redistricting hearing in Baltimore County expected to be contentious,” WYPR, October 19, 2021
- “Baltimore County to hold public hearing Tuesday on redistricting plan opposed by civil rights groups,” Baltimore Sun, October 26, 2021
- WYPR: “People put pressure on Baltimore county to scrap its redistricting map“
- WMAR: “Baltimore County holds public hearing to discuss redistricting plan“
- Yahoo News: “Baltimore County holds public hearing to discuss redistricting plan“
- Maryland Matters: “At Public Hearing, Baltimore County Residents Urge County Council to Reject Redistricting Commission Maps“:
- Baltimore Sun: “‘Your voice was loud and clear’: After public opposition, Baltimore County Council chair says he’ll seek to redraw redistricting maps“
- Video and transcript of Robert Latshaw’s remarks at the 10/26 public hearing (below)
- “Baltimore County Council begins to grapple with redistricting,” WYPR, October 29, 2021
- “League of Women Voters calls for new redistricting map,” Forward Baltimore
- Baltimore county redistricting plan moves forward, WYPR, November 16, 2021
- Civil Rights Advocates Consider Legal Action in Baltimore County Redistricting Process, Maryland Matters, November 29, 2021
- Opponents promise to sue as Baltimore County Council passes redistricting map, WYPR, December 20, 2021
Federal Judge Blocks Baltimore County Council Redistricting Plan, Maryland Matters