Letter writer regarding Kings redistricting: The Lines that Divide Us!

Kings County is divided into five supervisorial districts, but how were those districts drawn? Districts are non-partisan, elected for four years, and have no term limits, and the last redrawing was 2011 after the 2010 census, as required by law.

The supervisors are now starting the process of redrawing lines following last year's census and considering selecting the National Demographics Corporation (NDC) as the consultants. 

You might ask why it matters how the lines are drawn, why I should care who is in charge, or why do you want me to care politicians are all the same anyway; I would say those are great questions.

It doesn't matter how the lines are drawn but what people the drawn lines separate. Imagine a large minority population of purple people in a town and that they make up 60% of the people. Still, the districts' line breaks the group up 30% in district A and district B. This process is called "cracking," splintering a population into small pieces across several districts so that the big group does not have a chance of impacting a single election. Another tactic is called "packing" in this scenario; it puts as many minority purple people in as few districts as possible. Hence, they drain the population's voting power. Both tactics, "cracking" and "packing," have the same outcome they limit the ability of a minority population to elect someone from their neighborhood.

Supervisors in Kings County plan to decide next Tuesday to hire Dr. Douglas Johnson and his firm NDC, which have questionable redistricting history. Last year, a three-judge panel in Common Cause v. Lewis summarized Dr. Johnson's performance, reporting that every court before which he appeared in person "rejected his methodologies, analogies and conclusions," adding: "This Court joins those other courts." Dr. Johnson has repeatedly drawn lines that limit the power of minorities and exposed counties and school boards to extensive legal fees.

Politicians are people like you. That's why you should support drawing lines with a trustworthy consultant; then run for office to implement the changes that your neighborhood needs.

Norberto Gonzalez