VIDEO LINKS AND QUOTES from Today’s Media Briefing: History of Redistricting in Florida and What’s at Stake in 2021

Earlier today, a panel of national and Florida redistricting experts briefed the media on the history and state of play in the current redistricting cycle. The panel discussed past legislative action and litigation to end partisan and racial gerrymandering in the state. They also described how to implement an accountable and transparent process that results in fair district maps. Tomorrow, the U.S. Census Bureau will release key demographic data from the 2020 Census that will kickstart the Florida legislature’s process of drawing new district maps for the state House, state Senate, and Congress.

In case you missed today’s media briefing, you can find the link to the speaker view recording here and the video link to the speaker view with slides recording here. You can view the media kit, including today’s slide deck, here.

Select quotes from the briefing, in order of speakers, are below.

Regarding the importance of redistricting:
“Redistricting is one of the most important voting and elections issues facing the state of Florida this year. With tomorrow’s release of census data, we can formally begin the redistricting process that will shape Florida’s elections for the next ten years.  Every Floridian should have a chance to participate in this important democratic process, regardless of their race, ethnicity, zip code, income, or political affiliation,” said Suzanne Almeida, Redistricting and Representation Counsel at Common Cause.

Regarding the importance of fair district maps:
“Floridians have overwhelmingly supported redistricting reform to put an end to partisan and racial gerrymandering once and for all. We deserve a democracy where everyone has an equal voice when it comes to the issues we care about most, not just the special interests, wealthy, and well-connected. We will continue to be deeply engaged in this year’s redistricting process to ensure it is fair, transparent, and inclusive to all Floridians,” said Ellen Freidin, leader of the FairDistricts Florida Movement and CEO of FairDistricts Now, Inc.

Regarding redistricting as a tool for community empowerment:
“We believe we need to build a democracy where everyone participates, every vote is counted, and everyone’s voice is heard. Our democracy is strongest when everyone has the power to vote for the issues we care about most, like stronger schools, better roads and transportation, and affordable healthcare. In a strong democracy, political power belongs to all of us,” said Cecile Scoon, President, League of Women Voters Florida.