The Land of Gerrymandering

FL-13
A map of the 13th Congressional District of Florida.

A footnote to last night’s elections, if you will allow me.

I had a discussion last night about how congressional districts are drawn up while the Alex Sink and David Jolly vote was being tallied last night, and how the district I reside in includes Pinellas County almost totally, but with two notable exceptions.

North of Dunedin is part of another district, as is the areas of southeastern St. Petersburg.

I represented last night that if you included southeast St. Petersburg in the FL-13 district, Alex Sink would have clearly been the victor by a narrow margin, or at least in my hypothetical argument.

The person I was discussing this last night was telling me it was discrimination how the the congressional districts are drawn up to favor one party or the other. I countered by saying that these districts are redrawn every decade when the new census is taken in the “0” year of each decade, and that I could remember a time back in the 1980’s when the district I’ve traditionally been in had West Bay/East Bay Drive running thru Bellair Bluffs and Largo.

There’s horse trading that goes on with these districts, too.  Look at the map that includes that little sliver of St. Petersburg:

The map of the 14th congressional district, which I found on govtrack.us
The map of the 14th congressional district, which I found on govtrack.us.

That little fragment of St. Petersburg is represented in the 14th congressional district that includes all of the city of Tampa proper, plus some of the northern suburbs.  As opposed to our district which has been controlled by Republicans for what seems to be time and memorial, the 14th district is represented currently by Kathy Castor, a Democrat.

Is it fair? Doesn’t seem so, does it? But this is the way or bureaucrats want it. The problem is giving them control of what size “the ring” is to begin with.  I would love to see a system were one town was represented in one district with its neighbors, with the exception of the larger US cities that would need several congressmen/congresswomen to be represented.

But again, you’re asking the generally corrupt to clean their own house, and that’s the wall that must be climbed here.

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