Georgia Unfiltered

Search This Site

11 February 2013

Emotions vs. Facts: It Appears Fulton County Democrats are Wrong in Their Opposition to HB171

House Bill 171 is a redistricting bill. It redistricts the Fulton County Commission. The bill also restructures the Fulton County Commission. Instead of five district commissioners and two county-wide commissioners, House Bill 171 eliminates one county-wide commissioner and adds one more district commissioner. It's that simple. And yet, this simple bill with its simple map is opposed by simple people relying on simple emotions to make their simple point.

All those who gain power are afraid to lose it; even John Eaves, Robb Pitts, Emma Darnell, Joan Garner and Bill Edwards.

Last week, the five Fulton County commissioners I just named voted to oppose House Bill 171. In their opposition statement, the five commissioners said, "it appears that, if adopted, House Bill 171 would substantially reduce the ability of minorities to elect candidates of their choice to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, in violation of federal law."

The five Fulton County commissioners opposing House Bill 171 didn't provide any stats or facts. They made a simple blank statement. It appears, if adopted, House Bill 171 would substantially reduce the ability of minorities to elect candidates of their choice to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, in violation of federal law.

Dictionary.com defines the word "appears" as, "to have the appearance of being; seem; look: to appear wise."

A person can "appear" wise, but at closer examination, they are not wise at all. It is the opinion of five Fulton County commissioners that House Bill 171 "appears" to substantially reduce the ability of minorities to elect candidates of their choice to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, but at closer examination, House Bill 171 does not do that at all.

Utilizing the maps described in House Bill 171, the current Fulton County Commission maps and Dave's Redistricting 2.2, I put together actual facts and figures I believe refutes the arguments being made by Democrats in Fulton County.


The current Fulton County Commission maps (shown right) violate the principle of "one man, one vote." Districts three (colored blue) and seven (colored yellow) have too many people. Districts five (colored red) and six (colored purple) have too few people. The United States Supreme Court ruled that districts must contain roughly the same number of people in order to comply with "one man, one vote." If the current Fulton County Commission maps were challenged in court today, they'd likely be thrown because of the facts and figures shown in the stat sheet below:


Compare the current Fulton County maps to the maps created by House Bill 171 (shown left). Six districts --all compact, all contiguous, all containing communities of interest-- uphold one man, one vote. All six districts have roughly the same number of people in them. Again I point to facts and figures to support my assertions. . .


Where is the reduced ability of minorities to elect candidates of their choice to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners?

According to the facts, the maps conceived by House Bill 171 creates three districts where minorities can elect a person who looks like me to the Fulton County Commission. That is, incidentally, the same number of districts minorities can influence under the current maps.

Again I ask, where is the reduced ability of minorities to elect candidates of their choice to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners? Commissioners John Eaves, Robb Pitts, Emma Darnell, Joan Garner and Bill Edwards must have some facts to back up their rhetoric, right? Unless those five are just selling wolf tickets. I believe it is the latter.

Fulton County Democrats fear losing their power, and they're using race in a last ditch effort to hold on to it.