Thursday, March 2, 2017

Stop HB 515 - Gerrymandering

I just sent the below email to Georgia House Representative Johnnie Caldwell, the Chairman of the House Reapportionment Committee, Rules Committee Chairman John Meadows john.meadows@house.ga.gov and copied his special-interest friends. Apologies if this isn't a slick and engaging visual post. 

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Background:

GEORGIA GERRYMANDERING EMERGENCY! The Georgia House of Representatives has filed a shady last-minute bill, HB 515, to change district lines to rig some districts to protect Republican incumbents! Filed on Tuesday, second read on Wednesday. Tomorrow (Friday) is crossover day. The bill has no "Why" or Reasons". Bill is in geo-code speak without any maps to visually see. Needs to have public input from the citizens that LIVE in these NINE House Districts that are affected, and hearings held. Please loudly oppose this anti-democratic effort. Last census was in 2010 and districts have already been redrawn to show that change. Call & email Reapportionment Chairman Johnnie Caldwell, Jr at 404.656.5087 email: johnnie.caldwell@house.ga.gov. Call and email members of the House Rules Committee and let them know that you are watching and won't let them get away with this.





johnnie.caldwell@house.ga.gov


jrm2016@yahoo.com; john.meadows@house.ga.gov; brett@voteharrell.com; richard.smith@house.ga.gov; staceyabrams@gmail.com; bert.reeves@house.ga.gov; ed.setzler@house.ga.gov; earl.ehrhart@house.ga.gov; jan.jones@house.ga.gov; chuck@martinforgeorgia.com; sheila.jones@house.ga.gov; david.stover@house.ga.gov; brian.strickland@house.ga.gov; rich.golick@house.ga.gov;  elena.parent@senate.ga.gov; 

and add your own State Representative & Senator. Mine are: tom.taylor@house.ga.gov; Fran.Millar@senate.ga.gov;

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March 2, 2017

Dear Mr. Caldwell,

Are you afraid that in 2018 the seats held by Representatives Golick (HD-40) and Strickland (111) may change from Republican to Democrat so much that you need to do some Gerrymandering to keep your friends in office?

Plainly state to Georgia citizens WHY you introduced and sponsored HB 515. Plainly state to Georgia citizens the PROBLEM that needs to be fixed.

As a Georgian and 23-year US Army retired Infantry Major having spent a year in a combat zone serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, I am ashamed of this partisan and unscrupulous behavior by a select few “elites” that hid behind closed doors.

You work for the citizens and you do not get to choose who you work for by changing district maps arbitrarily and capriciously behind closed doors without citizen input and transparency. Stop HB 515. This is gerrymandering at it’s worse. It represents “packing & cracking” done behind the scenes weeks ago using sophisticated voter & demographic databases behind closed doors to manipulate and dilute the power of the PEOPLE. The timing has all been well-thought out to try to hide from the voters your intentions.

The bill contains a bunch of geo-codes without maps that a human could not read. Add the before & after maps for humans to read. It changes NINE House districts. The bill was introduced on Tuesday with a first read. Had a second read on Wednesday and now it looks like you want to get it to the full house for a vote before crossover day on Friday. You waited until the last minute to push this through in an attempt to sneak it past Georgia voters.

The bill as written does not contain the WHY or REASON.
How many people inside these NINE districts came to the Georgia State Assembly saying there was a problem?
Precisely WHAT is the problem that needs to be legislated?
How many public meetings were held in these NINE districts notifying the CITIZENS that you were thinking about changing THEIR districts, and/or state representatives?


House District
Representative
Area
2016 Election Result
(% win for current seat holder)
Current District Map
Proposed District Map
Reason this district map needs to be redrawn?
34
Bert Reeves (R)
Marietta
63% - Reeves
36% - HOLSOMBACK (D)
MISSING

35
Ed Setzler (R)
Acworth
100% - Unopposed
MISSING

36
Earl Ehrhart (R)
Powder Springs
100% - Unopposed
MISSING

40
Rich Golick (R)
Smyrna
53% - Dickey
46% - Allen (D)
 MISSING

47
Jan Jones (R)
Milton
100% - Unopposed
MISSING

49
Chuck Martin (R)
Alpharetta
100% - Unopposed
MISSING

53
Sheila Jones (D)
Atlanta
100% - Unopposed
MISSING

71
David Stover (R)
Newnan
75% - Stoner
25% - Bennett (D)
MISSING

111
Brian Strickland (R)
McDonough
51.69% - Strickland
48.31% - Payton (D)
MISSING



This bill wreaks of partisan Gerrymandering and must be stopped dead in its tracks.

In contract, you should support and vote yes for SR 6 & SR 7 to REMOVE party politics and put the PEOPLE back in charge of our state elected servants, going back to representing the people.

SR6: A RESOLUTION proposing an amendment to the Constitution so as to provide that legislative and congressional reapportionment be done by an independent bipartisan commission instead of the General Assembly; to provide for related matters; to provide for submission of this amendment for ratification or rejection; and for other purposes
SR7: RESOLUTION proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Georgia so as to provide procedures and standards for legislative and congressional reapportionment; to provide for related matters; to provide for submission of this amendment for ratification or rejection; and for other purposes.



Myself and the public look forward to hearing your prompt and detailed response.

Regards,


Joe Seconder
404-545-3711
Retired Major, US Army Reserve

Dunwoody, Georgia

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