BALTIMORE — After the commission’s last meeting, the members approved their final proposed draft delegate map, and they presented it during their round three public meetings.

As mentioned, this is the third and final round of public meetings. The first round was a listening tour to discuss redistricting. The second round was a discussion on the proposed Citizens Commission redistricting maps and its citizen-submitted redistricting.

This round featured a presentation of their maps and public testimonies. This meeting makes sure the public and the commission are transparent with each other for better results.

“Transparency is the hallmark of this entire process,” Commissioner Alexander Williams said.

Although this meeting was to air out grievances in Baltimore, there was a representative of Southern Maryland that mentioned how the redistricting of Baltimore can affect Southern Maryland.

Haley Harris, a citizen of Charles County, mentioned that the “hybrid” mix of the populations in Baltimore could affect Charles County’s number, which will leave them with a senator that knows nothing about the community.

“When you create a mixed hybrid solution and look at the population in Baltimore County and Baltimore with the gerrymandering, you also affect the southern counties,” Harris said. “Why should I in Charles County have a senator all the way in Prince’s George’s County or Clinton? ”

The meeting presented their maps where they addressed recent critics in their adjustments. In the first map, commissioners redrew the three districts around the city of tigers to rotate counterclockwise. This change will change the visual appeal while maintaining the number of splits in the counties.

Additionally, everyone agreed with the proposals, but there were some that questioned if a single-member district solution will hinder the future of growing counties.

“Are we denying future better outcomes for years to come by eliminating single-member districts in all but a very few specific locations based on the snapshot of the census in 2020? We know the growth is happening, and it’s primarily a minority,” Commissioner Mary Clawson said.

Even though each of these meetings focuses on certain areas, the Citizens Commission continues to encourage the public to create and submit their own maps, comment on the draft maps via email redistricting.commission@maryland.gov.

Also, Marylanders can submit additional maps based on the Citizens Commission’s updated legislative maps as the Citizens Commission continues their work to submit final proposed maps to Governor Hogan.

For more information, check out redistricting.maryland.gov.

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