Statement on Court Ruling in Baltimore County Redistricting Case

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TOWSON, MD – Today, federal Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby entered a ruling in NAACP v. Baltimore County that accepts the County Council’s remedial redistricting plan.

Quote from Anthony Fugett, a plaintiff and Baltimore County voter: “All we were asking for is a level playing field, and I am disappointed that the court did not level the playing field. The County Council continues to pack District 4 with over 64% Black voters, which leaves white voters in the majority in District 2. That means white voters in District 2 will continue to have veto power over the desires of Black voters, despite the west side of Baltimore County being majority Black.  That speaks volumes to me, and I hope that speaks volumes to all of my neighbors.”

Quote from Dana Vickers Shelley, a Baltimore County voter: “This is such unfortunate, devasting news for the growing Black community in Baltimore County. The proposal from the elected officials on the Baltimore County Council shows an utter lack of respect for Black residents and Voters of Color overall.”

Quote from the Plaintiffs’ legal team: “While the revised map that Baltimore County has now proposed is better, better is not enough to fulfill the racial justice requirements of the Voting Rights Act. The facts remain that the County has almost one-third Black voters and almost half Voters of Color, and yet six out of seven council districts will continue to have majority white voters. How can that be fair? It’s not. We are considering our next steps. Our commitment to the rights of Baltimore County voters remains firm.”

Quote from Dr. Lawrence Brown, Expert Witness on Baltimore County history: “It’s my hope that this decision serves as a galvanizing moment to escalate the struggle for equity in outcomes.  Even raising awareness of Baltimore County’s long racist history can go a long way towards helping people to mobilize and make important demands, such as reparations from the county for inflicting tremendous damage on Black enclaves and Black residents, a stronger push for tackling ongoing residential racial segregation, and better data collection regarding how the county budget is allocated geographically, particularly dollars for community and economic development.”

Last Friday, plaintiffs and allies held a press conference to call on the County Council to stop aligning itself with Jim Crow Alabama policies and stop wasting taxpayer dollars defending a redistricting plan that still violates the racial justice protections of the Voting Rights Act.

Video: https://www.facebook.com/ACLUMD/videos/2902061023419122 and https://twitter.com/ACLU_MD/status/1504837708094468097?s=20&t=E0D3xfx7VEvtaBQKzti-yQ