July 12, 2011
From the outset, the NAACP Milwaukee Branch has made clear that its concerns with respect to the Milwaukee County Redistricting process were several-fold:
1. That the process should be conducted in a manner that is open and transparent.
2. That citizens should be allowed an opportunity and period of time to review proposed maps, draw and present alternative maps, provide comments and input, and otherwise participate in the process.
3. That the interests of minorities should not be diluted and are fairly reflected in the plan that is ultimately adopted. In this regard, this means that, pursuant to the census data, the African-American community would retain at least six voting age majority districts (capped at 66.7%) and that the Latino community would gain a second voting age majority district.
4. That the number of districts should not be reduced below eighteen (18), which was the number reflected in the plan that was approved by the County Board Redistricting Committee on April 21, 2011.
Between April and the present, there has been a considerable amount of discussion and debate concerning various aspects of the County’s process, consideration of alternative plans and other matters. The NAACP views this dialogue as a constructive and important part of the process and hope that it has helped the Board and the community better understand the various interests and perspectives that have been represented. This dialogue has been consistent with our first two concerns stated above.
As for our third and forth concerns (as stated above), the NAACP Milwaukee Branch remains committed to those concepts which we believe are consistent with the outcome of a plan that is fair, just, equitable and in accord with principles of the Voting Rights Act. We support a plan that will accomplish those ends. Beyond that, we respect the Board’s process as to its determinations regarding specific districts and boundaries, except, as stated above, we strongly oppose any action that will result in further decreasing the size of the Board or diluting minority representation.
James H. Hall, Jr., President
NAACP Milwaukee Branch