Sen. Brenda Gilmore: G.O.P. ‘rushing’ on maps that subvert the voting rights of Black Tennesseans
‘All we want is a fair fight,’ Gilmore says
NASHVILLE — Sen. Brenda Gilmore (D-Nashville), a long-time champion for voting rights, says the district map plans released by Republicans this week dilute the voting power of minorities.
When the Congressional district lines proposed by Republicans are overlaid on a map showing the population percentage of minority voters in Davidson County voting precincts, the GOP map clearly divides Nashville’s minority voters between three congressional districts.
“I am deeply troubled that the majority party is rushing these district maps through the General Assembly. On every map, there appear to be lines drawn by politicians who were picking the voters they wanted, when it should be voters picking their elected leaders,” Sen. Gilmore said. “Even more concerning is the many ways these maps diminish the voting power of African Americans. There are a variety of instances where minority communities have been divided between districts, which dilutes their voting strength.”
On the Tennessee House maps proposed by Republicans, another example of dividing minority communities can be found in Rutherford County. The GOP district lines split the city of La Vergne, one of Tennessee’s few majority minority cities, between two House districts. The diverse cities of Murfreesboro and Smyrna are similarly divided.
“We’re not asking for new maps to secure minority rule. All we want is a fair fight,” Sen. Gilmore said. “That starts with a fair process and the millions of Tennesseans, who will be affected by these districts for the next decade, deserve time to digest these new maps and get their concerns addressed.”