Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rep. Corrine Brown: 'Extremely Disappointed' in Passage of Amendments 5 and 6

Representatives Corrine Brown (D-3rd) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-25th) both actively campaigned against the two amendments, which both passed with more than 60 percent support.

Amendments 5 and 6 aim to eliminate gerrymandered districts -- districts drawn up to help minorities get candidates elected.

Brown and Diaz-Balart today issued the following joint statement:

"The implementation of Amendments 5 and 6 as prescribed in the ballot initiative would inevitably lead to a dilution of the voting rights of African-Americans and Hispanics in the state of Florida, as well as a significant loss in the number of representatives elected from minority communities: on the federal and state levels, and on local levels such as city councils, across the state of Florida. The reason is simple: because traditional redistricting principles, such as maintaining communities of interest or minority access districts, will become entirely irrelevant if Amendments 5 and 6 are implemented, primarily because of the Amendments' requirement of 'compact districts.' Certainly, minority communities do not live in compact, cookie-cutter like neighborhoods, and so district 'compactness' would defeat the ability of the state Legislature to draw access and majority-minority seats, since minority communities would become fragmented across the state."

Brown added her own dissent to the passage of the amendments, and said she isn't finished arguing against them.

"I was extremely disappointed in the passage of Amendments 5 and 6," said Congresswoman Brown. "Congressman Diaz-Balart and I introduced a lawsuit this morning, and will continue our fight against these misguided, deceptive amendments in the federal courts. I am absolutely convinced that if they are carried out as prescribed, our state will immediately revert to the time period prior to 1992, when Florida was devoid of African American or Hispanic representation."

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