South Carolina Redistricting and De Gullah/Geechee
As numerous people of African descent take to the streets and get arrested to uphold the right to vote that our ancestors fought and bled for in America, states are now reviewing the numbers of the latest Census report and are drawing new political lines. Many people are just becoming aware of redlining and how that has segregated and in many cases annihilated Black communities and excluded Black families from building wealth. Redistricting for political reasons has also changed the voting block in many Black communities including some of those of Gullah/Geechees. Therefore, it is critical that native Gullah/Geechees provide input to the South Carolina Senate Judiciary Redistricting Committee to insure that our Sea Islands and contiguous Gullah/Geechee communities remain in tact as new districts are created this year. Therefore, we must be aware of the terminology and be engaged in the meetings that are used for this process.
What is reapportionment?
The U.S. Constitution provides that representatives be apportioned among the states based upon the population living in each state. (Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.) Every 10 years, after the census is taken, an announcement is made concerning how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives.
What is redistricting?
Redistricting is the process by which a state legislature or other government entity divides an area into new representative districts based upon the area’s population.
The South Carolina Senate is preparing to redraw the 7 Congressional and 46 State Senate Districts. The population for each Congressional District should be approximately 731,204. The population for each Senate District should be approximately 111,270.
What may be considered in drawing district lines?
In addition to federal and state law, courts have recognized that, to achieve legitimate state goals, states may use certain traditional redistricting principles as guidelines or criteria to follow in redrawing district lines.
The first coastal public meeting was held in Beaufort County, SC and the recording of that meeting can be found at https://www.dropbox.com/s/fya0alotlobmj4d/Screen%20Shot%202021-08-10%20at%2011.26.44%20AM.png?dl=0
How can citizens participate in the redistricting process?
The Senate Redistricting Subcommittee is seeking information from members of the public concerning South Carolina’s Congressional and State Senate districts. Additional coastal meetings are forthcoming:
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
6:30 p.m. at Trident Technical College
7000 Rivers Ave, North Charleston, SC 29406
To receive information about the following counties: Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton, Jasper, and Orangeburg
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
6:30 p.m. at Horry Georgetown Technical College
2050 US-501, Conway, SC 29526
To receive information about the following counties: Dillon, Georgetown, Horry, Marion, Marlboro, and Williamsburg
While the subcommittee is charged with drawing districts that reflect new population totals and comply with federal law, it also wants to provide for districts that represent the people they include. In order to do this, the subcommittee needs first hand information from people all around the State about the areas in which they live.
At the public hearings, the subcommittee wants to hear about the communities of interest that exist throughout the State. If you cannot attend a public hearing, you may send information to the subcommittee by mail or email. Speak out fa we and hold togedda de Gullah/Geechee community!
S.C. Senate Judiciary Redistricting Subcommittee
P.O. Box 142, Columbia, SC 29202
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and Phone: (803) 212-6636
Website address: http://redistricting.scsenate.gov