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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Reaction to Supreme Court redistricting ruling



 U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa:

"No matter the shift in district boundaries, I am more committed than ever to standing up to the special interests that hold so much sway in Washington.  I will remain focused on fighting for higher wages, economic opportunity, college affordability and equal rights. I want the best for the families and businesses across our community and they can count on me to be their advocate."

The new 14th District expands into Westchase, New Tampa and the Carrollwood neighborhoods where Castor grew up. Castor is currently in her fifth term representing the Tampa Bay area.  She previously served on the Hillsborough County Commission.

Former Gov. Charlie Crist, a candidate for Congress:

There's no place like home, especially a home with fair congressional districts like we now have in Pinellas County. The people's voice will finally be whole, loud, and clear when we fight for fair wages, new jobs, equality, education, and protecting our shorelines.

The League of Women Voters, one of the organizations that challenged the map:

"The democratic process prevailed today in a landmark victory for Florida citizens," said Pamela Goodman, President of the League of Women Voters of Florida. "In accepting the Congressional map submitted by the plaintiffs, League of Women Voters of Florida and Common Cause of Florida, the mandates for FAIR Districts -- enshrined in our Constitution by 3.1 million voters -- are upheld."

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville:

Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court of the state of Florida is just what I expected because the entire process has been tainted from the very beginning. Beyond a doubt, today’s ruling and the proposed congressional map is a direct attack on minority voters and a clear example of voter retrogression and disenfranchisement.  As a response, and in accordance with the 1965 Voting Rights Act, I have filed a federal lawsuit to repeal the proposed congressional map. 

Indeed, the map approved today will bring about minority vote dilution and hamper the ability of Congressional District 5’s minority residents to elect a candidate of their choice, since the base map entirely dilutes and disperses minority communities.  As I have said before, minority communities do not live in compact, cookie-cutter like neighborhoods, and excessive adherence to district “compactness” fragments them across the state, not allowing them to elect a representative of their choice, and destroying communities of interest.

The essential reason why African Americans live in the areas of Congressional District 5 in which they do in the first place is a direct result of historical redlining, clearly exemplified by living patterns both here in the state of Florida and easily visible in other states as well.  In fact, after Emancipation and the Civil War, the Black population of northeastern Florida moved along the St. Johns River, which extends from Jacksonville to just north of Orlando.  Because the land was prone to flooding, it was only natural that the poorest Floridians, including freed slaves, would settle there.  Segregated housing patterns, demanded by restrictive covenants and enforced by Florida courts, kept the African-American population together well into the mid-20th Century, which is the central reason why these communities are segregated into those residential patterns across the state.

 U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota:

It’s sad that I will no longer have the honor of representing the southern part of Sarasota County, but I’m looking forward to meeting the people of Hillsborough County.

U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland:

I respect today’s decision by the Florida Supreme Court approving the congressional redistricting maps approved earlier by Leon District Court Judge Terry Lewis. I look forward to running for reelection and working for the great people of Florida’s 15th Congressional District which will now include parts of Hillsborough, Polk and Lake Counties.

U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Miami:

No matter how the lines are drawn Florida 26 will always be a competitive district deserving a representative with a strong track record of working with Republicans and Democrats to get things done for ‎our community and the country. I have received a lot of support and positive feedback from the residents of Kendall, South Dade, and the Florida Keys during my first year in Congress, and I look forward to continuing my work on their behalf in the future.

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami

My love for South Florida knows no boundaries and every part of it is special to me. How can it not be when we live in paradise? I know it’s a humbling honor to represent our community and I’ll continue to work hard every day to continue to earn the trust so many have placed in me. I’m ready for the road ahead and hope South Floridians will join me in working to improve our home.

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens:

"To say that I am deeply disappointed by the Florida Supreme Court’s decision to approve the redistricting map drawn by the Fair Districts Coalition is a gross understatement. From the start, I strongly opposed the map known as CP-1 because it strips from District 24 several economic drivers and cultural attractions and threatens to return our community to its former status as the nation’s “most suffering” district. CP-1 removes from the district PortMiami, Bayside marketplace, AmericanAirlines Arena, Watson Island, Jungle Island/Parrot Island, and Bayfront Park, to name a few.

"I had hoped that the court would recognize that this map is not only an unwarranted attempt to reverse the gains made in the past few years, but also creates an area of economic apartheid. The fact that there were no voters at stake because these economic catalysts are located on nonresidential land -- and represented the only wealth the district has -- makes the map particularly egregious. Why take away from people who already have so little?

"Despite this terrible setback which, ironically, was set in motion by Democrats, as the founder of the Congressional Florida Ports Caucus, I will continue to consider PortMiami a corporate neighbor and convene the caucus to fight on its behalf. Ensuring that the port has all of the federal resources it needs to sustain and create jobs is good for Florida’s economy and workforce, and good for my constituents.

"While not as blatant as the “whites” and “coloreds only” signs that were once fixtures at public facilities before African Americans and other people of color were able to vote, the map is almost as discriminatory. Isolating poor people in one district is an indefensible violation of the spirit of the Voting Rights Act and the map created by the Fair Districts Coalition is anything but fair."

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton:

Ten years ago, I took a leap and ran for a Florida State Senate seat from Broward and Palm Beach counties. I ran for public office because after years volunteering and working in the community to help those in need, promote tolerance, and strengthen the U.S.-Israel relationship, I saw elected office as a way to have a greater impact on the South Florida that my family and I love to call home.

Today, I am excited to announce that I intend to for re-election to Congress in Florida’s newly-drawn 22nd congressional district. The new 22nd district stretches from Fort Lauderdale in the south to western Broward communities like Margate, Coral Springs, and Parkland and portions of southern Palm Beach County including Boca Raton.

The 22nd district, approved today by the Florida Supreme Court, is home to around 300,000 constituents I am proud to serve today, as well as thousands of Broward and Palm Beach County residents I previously represented in the Florida Senate and in Congress. I am excited to run in the community where my wife and I work, where my daughters graduated and my son attends high school, where my family goes to synagogue, and where I have spent so much time working for and with the people of South Florida.

The residents of Broward and Palm Beach know me for more than the time I’ve spent in their businesses, community centers, schools, retirement communities, and churches. They know me from the years I’ve spent working for Port Everglades expansion and beach renourishment, organizing veterans jobs fairs at the Fort Lauderdale Armory, and hosting community forums on student loans, immigration, and other important issues at Florida Atlantic University and Broward College.

During my time in Tallahassee and my four terms in Congress, I’ve been honored to pass laws that fund cancer research, tighten sanctions on Iran, and award veterans with medals of honor they were wrongfully denied. I also take pride in my work securing federal funding for the roads, ports, and infrastructure that South Florida businesses need to grow and compete, and in these times of global uncertainty, my role as top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa.

South Florida’s economy has come a long way since the financial crisis, with our tourism and real estate sectors back in business and more Floridians back at work. Yet we also face enormous challenges that deserve real solutions, from growing incomes and helping more Americans retire securely to making college more affordable.

The issues that we face in South Florida and as a country, like the deadly mass shooting that struck San Bernardino just hours ago, have no boundaries. Now is the time for us to move forward together as a community and as a country, and I am more committed than ever to delivering progress for the people of South Florida.  

I have devoted my entire career in public life to serving the people of both Broward and Palm Beach counties. The new 22nd district offers me the only opportunity to continue working for both of these wonderful communities in Congress, and I am proud to put my record of accomplishment up against anyone.

In the coming months, I’ll be working harder than ever to continue championing the concerns, aspirations, and needs of the people of Broward and Palm Beach counties in Congress.

 U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach:

"I have deep respect for Ted Deutch's tireless service to South Florida along with great affection for him as a friend.  His decision to run in the new Broward-based seat reflects his long commitment to serving the community where he has worked and raised his family.  As the junior member of the South Florida delegation, I will honor his decision as I look to represent Palm Beach County in 2016. More importantly, Ted and I will remain focused on tackling the challenges of South Florida together, for as long as our constituents continue to elect us."

Annette Taddeo, Curbelo's Democratic challenger:

"Obviously the numbers are better for our campaign, and better for Annette," Taddeo campaign manager Shaun Daniels told the Miami Herald. "On paper, this has become one of the most Democratic districts in the country held by a Republican, and the most Democratic district in Florida held by a Republican."


[Last modified: Thursday, December 3, 2015 8:39am]


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