Monday, July 4, 2022

Play

July 4th: an opportunity to examine the state of U.S. Democracy in places like MT; disturbing bodycam video of a fatal police shooting in Ohio; ripple effects from SCOTUS environmental ruling.

Play

The Biden administration works to ensure abortion access, Liz Cheney says Jan 6th committee could call for criminal charges against Trump, and extreme heat and a worker shortage dampens firework shows.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Baltimore Co. Ordered to Resubmit Redistricting Plan In Compliance With VRA

Play

Tuesday, March 1, 2022   

A federal judge has ordered the Baltimore County Council to scrap its redistricting plan after a lawsuit brought by Black residents and civil-rights groups said it violates the Voting Rights Act.

The County Council has until next Tuesday to submit a new redistricting plan.

The ACLU of Maryland lawsuit challenged the county's redistricting map, arguing given the growth of the region's Black population, two of the seven voting districts should be majority-minority. Instead, the plan created one district, which was 74% Black.

Tony Fugett, former president of the Baltimore County NAACP and an individual plaintiff in the case, said it is important for Black residents to feel represented.

"I, as a Black person in Baltimore County, should have an opportunity to elect the person of my choice," Fugett asserted, "The map that they drew didn't reflect that, in that, what they had done in essence, is cracked the Black vote across multiple districts so that there wasn't a second minority-majority district in the county."

Julian E. Jones, Jr., the county council chairman, said in a statement, "We will review the Court's decision, consider our options and determine what next steps are appropriate." Baltimore County was 60% white, with nearly 46% of residents identifying as people of color in the 2020 Census.

The five-member bipartisan Councilmanic Redistricting Commission was tasked with coming up with a map recommendation for the County Council.

Ericka McDonald, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Baltimore County, which was a plaintiff in the case, said political representation can have a major impact on addressing systemic racism and inequities.

"There's a history in Baltimore County of Black residents being stopped for traffic stops at a much higher proportion than white residents," McDonald pointed out. "If there is representation, those issues that really impact the lives of Black residents are more likely to be addressed."

Six of the seven Baltimore County council members are white. Maryland's primary election is June 28. McDonald noted barring any appeals, the delay in adopting a redistricting plan will not impact the election.


get more stories like this via email
The United States celebrates Independence Day while Congress investigates the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Bob/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This July 4th marks nearly 250 years since the United States declared its independence, setting the country on a path to establishing its democracy…


Social Issues

It's July 4th, a celebration of the United States' independence. It's also an opportunity to take a look at the state of the country's democracy…

Social Issues

July 4th celebrates the founding of the United States' democracy - and some say it's time to recommit to defending that democracy. In the wake of …


While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …

Environment

Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021