HOLLYWOOD, Md. — As the redistricting of congressional, state and local legislative districts begins, the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commissions will host a meeting for public input today for their proposal, which many are saying substantially weakens St. Mary’s County.

For those who do not know, redistricting happens every 10 years based on new census data, and the county commissioners redistrict the local areas. Meanwhile, a statewide bi-partisan committee appointed by the Governor has started drawing up some statewide legislative maps. The Maryland General Assembly confirms all statewide maps and may not take the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commissions’ maps.

Census data collected in 2020 shows that Southern Maryland was the second most growing region in the state by population, with St. Mary’s growing 8.2%, Calvert growing by 4.6%, and Charles County growing 13.7%. Now, many citizens are concerned that this proposal will weaken St. Mary’s County, despite the area seeing such growth in population.

The proposed draft shows that St. Mary’s County’s senatorial district(29) will gain ground in Charles County, and remove the population previously in Calvert.

Under the proposal, St. Mary’s County would see a section of Mechanicsville, Oakville, Hollywood, and California move to the predominantly Calvert County District(27). This could become an issue because it breaks up communities that often share common struggles.

“Clearly, the proposed district that includes Mechanicsville, Oakville, Hollywood and California is not contiguous and is certainly not compact. Any new district lines hope that it will continue to keep our communities together, as we share common challenges and needs that are so often tied to our geographical region,” Senator Jack Bailey said in a statement.

Additionally, Charles County will have one whole senatorial district and second including St. Mary’s County, which will give Charles County a second Senator, Charles County Commissioner Gilbert Bowling noted on Facebook.

For those who oppose these adjustments or have questions, they will hold the redistricting meeting for the draft maps today over Zoom at 6:00 PM. To register for the meeting, click HERE.

Another way you can participate in the redistricting process is to submit your own map and comments electronically by emailing redistricting.commission@maryland.gov