Photo: State Rep. Hester Jackson-McCray. (Bob Bakken/DeSoto County News)
On Monday evening, August 23, 2021, state Rep. Hester Jackson-McCray (D-Horn Lake) addressed the final Mississippi Redistricting Committee hearing, at the State Capital in Jackson, recommending equitable redistricting recommendations that would benefit Mississippi’s growing minority population. The most profound of these recommendations is to create a second minority/majority Congressional District to create fair representation for Mississippi’s minority citizens.
“DeSoto County has the third largest minority population in our state,” Jackson-McCray said. “Our minority population communities have been successfully broken apart and gerrymandered so that our vote has been diluted, and it has been impossible for a person of color to win a seat at the legislative table where decisions are made in DeSoto County until my victory in 2019.”
Jackson-McCray offered comprehensive recommendations for redistricting Mississippi House, Senate, Judicial, Circuit, Chancery and Congressional Districts. Her goal is to encourage the Redistricting Committee to consider and develop new boundaries that are “fairly drawn to reflect the growing minority population in Mississippi.”
In conclusion, Jackson-McCray asked the committee to be fair and consider the following:
- Draw the new districts so that they are compact and very contiguous and represent entire neighborhoods.
- Do not break up communities of interest.
- Avoid racial gerrymandering and do not dilute minority voting strength.
- Comply with sections 2 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act and the 14th and 15th amendments of the Constitution.
- Don’t draw districts that are oddly shaped or break up precincts down the center of streets which causes confusion among voters.
- Once your new redistricting maps are drawn, please share your work!
- Give all our Mississippi communities time to review your redistricting proposals before they are given final approval. Please call more public hearings so that you can have the most community involvement and information before voting to finalize our new Mississippi boundaries.
Following is an overview of what the Horn Lake state Representative is asking of the Redistricting committee:
Redistricting Legislative Districts
- Issue: Harrison and Jackson Counties will have 21 legislative seats! Presently, only 2 are occupied by minorities yet minorities now make up 39% of the population. There is little to no equity in these districts. This must be corrected.
- Solution: Two House seats in Jackson and one Senate seat should be for minorities. Three House seats in Harrison and one Senate seat should be for minorities
- Issue: DeSoto County will have eleven Legislative seats. Presently, there is only one minority district, yet 42% of the population is minority. This is way out of proportion
- Solution: Three House seats and one Senate seat inside DeSoto County need to be minority districts
Redistricting Senate and District House Seats
- Issue: There are 70% packed Senate and House District seats
- Senate Districts that are packed: 21, 36, 26, 11, 24, 28, 12, and 27.
- House Districts that are packed: 110, 49, 119, 57, 9, 68, 47, 69, 72, 36, 50, 29, 30, 41, 42, 26, 33, 32, 80, 51, 27, 31, 103, 71, and 82.
- Solution: Unpacking these districts will create seven additional minority House districts and four minority Senate districts.
- Solution for Minority Senate Districts: should be drawn to reflect their minority/majority constituents
- Senate District 2: Horn Lake and part of Southaven
- Senate District 8: All of Chickasaw, Supervisory districts 4 and 5 in Lee County, Supervisory district 4 in Calhoun County, and Supervisory district 4 in Monroe County
- Senate District 10: All of Marshall and minority/majority parts of Panola and Tate Counties
- Senate District 14: Drop Leflore and Tate Counties, and add all of Holmes County
- Senate District 23: Drop Yazoo County and instead add these precincts of Hinds County: Bolton, Edward, and Byram.
- Senate District 48: Combine minority/majority precincts in Harrison County
- Senate District 51: Combine minority/majority precincts of Moss Point, Pascagoula, and Gautier.
- Senate District 31: Combine minority/majority precincts of Scott, Leak, and Newton.
- Solution: Create one more Minority Congressional District so Mississippi has two minority/majority Congressional Districts – redistricting for a minority/majority CD means moving supervisory districts, precincts, and counties:
- Move Neshoba currently in CD3 Supervisory districts 1, 3, and 4 to CD1.
- In Rankin County move the following Precincts in currently CD3 to CD1:
- South Brandon, Spring Hill, East Crossgate, Lakeland Drive, East Steen, Rankin, Antioch,
- Brandon Central, Clary, East Cross Gate, Crossroads, Lees Burg, and South Brandon.
- In CD3 Madison County move supervisory districts 2 and 1, except precinct 111 to CD 1.
- In CD3, move supervisory District 4 which is Lake Caroline precinct to CD2.
- In CD2 move Claiborne and Jefferson Counties to CD3.
- In CD4 in Jones County move Supervisor District 5 to CD3.
- In CD4, in Forest County move the following 8 precincts to CD3: Dixie Pin, Lillie Burley, North Height, Highland Park, Hattiesburg Central, Rowan, Super Center, and West Side.
Redistricting the Judicial System
- Issue: there are nineteen statewide judicial posts. Minorities make up 45% of the population in these districts but only 15% of these posts are filled by minority judges
- Solution: Appeals Court in the 4th District
- Move Jones County to fifth, and Clairborne and Jefferson Davis Counties to the fourth District.
- Move Neshoba County to the Northern District and move Leflore County to the Central District.
- Solution: Circuit and Chancery (Minorities East of HWY 55)
- There are subdivided districts west of Highway 55, and we want them to also be created east of Hwy 55.
- Solution: Create sub-districts in Chancery Districts: 1,2,3,4,8,10,12,16,18,19,20 and 6
- Solution: Create sub-districts in Circuit Districts: 1,2,3,5,8.10,12,13,14,15,17,18,20.
DeSoto County News Service