Miss. House, Senate joint committee holds hearing to discuss state redistricting

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 10:57 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Mississippi’s Standing Joint Congressional Redistricting Committee held a hearing Thursday night that was open to the public to share their opinions as the state prepares for redistricting.

“Please, please make this a fair process for all of the people in Mississippi,“ says Donald Bethley, vice president of Black Lives Matter Mississippi.

Several folks voiced their opinions about the state’s redistricting.

State Senator Dean Kirby of District 30 spoke about how listening to the public could be a way to make the redistricting process better for the state.

“What we are doing is going all over the state listening to people that have an interest in redistricting that feel like maybe there’s a better way that we can redistrict congressionally, as well as the legislative, house and senate.”

Redistricting happens every 10 years with the national census. This time, those at the podium asked that it’s done for the people and not politics.

“I want this process to really represent the demographics of Mississippi, and the diversity that it holds within its lines,” says Bethley.

Although this is the eighth hearing for state committee attendee Matthew Lawrence, he is hesitant to believe that there will be change.

“It’s not like the people in power in Mississippi haven’t heard these voices for centuries now and basically ignored them. I’m wary of the prospect that they’re going to make it even worse,” says Lawrence.

The committee will hold its next hearing in Jackson. Redistricting for the state of Mississippi will take place next year.

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