Redistricting Process Starts Now: Amplifying Alabama’s Under- Represented Voices


Vidya Sethuraman
India Post News Service

Every decade Alabama legislators come together to draw new district lines that give every vote in Alabama equal weight and all communities equal access to the decision-making processes that determine funding for schools, hospitals, and other essential services. Newly released census data show dramatic shifts in Alabama’s (and the country’s) population mix.

EMS briefing on August 26 discussed with organizations and coalitions in Alabama who have come together to ensure state legislators draw fair maps and advocate for all Alabama residents, especially historically underrepresented groups, to get the representation and resources they deserve.

Evan Milligan, the executive director of Alabama Forward and Alabama’s Civic Table, reviewed the changes in the proportion of ethnic groups in Alabama in the census data. He said that it is easier to buy a rifle in the state than to do a new crown test. The policies and elected officials did not reflect and represent the corresponding groups. In addition, false information will also take advantage of the loopholes. He is worried that if there are no relevant measures to prevent the epidemic, the epidemic will become more serious. He hopes that new measures will be introduced after the redrawing of the constituency.

Rodreshia Russaw, Executive Director of The Ordinary People Society (TOPS) and Alabama Election Protection Network partner organization is concerned about judicial reforms. She pointed out that many groups, especially those of African descent, are unfamiliar with the rezoning of constituencies, so her organization is promoting the concept. The organization attaches great importance to the prison issue of the Gerrymander (Gerrymander).

The organization strives to ensure that people in prisons have the right to vote. It is worried that the state will include prisons in the plan, because prisoners are also people and need to vote from their hometown address, not from the prison address.

Felicia Scalzetti, a CROWD Fellow scholar, also pointed out that the phenomenon of Jerry Salamanders has caused unfairness. Her organization hopes to promote and publicize relevant knowledge. For ten years, she has been working hard to further promote constituency justice in Azhou according to local conditions through mobilization, education, and publicity.

Ana Espino, Executive Director of the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice introduced the situation of Hispanics. For example, much information about the epidemic, test sites, and vaccines were not translated into Spanish during the epidemic, leaving Hispanics behind in many aspects. Therefore, the organization cooperates with other organizations and Spanish-language media to provide bilingual services in clinics.