Proposed Georgia House map would create five new districts with majority Black voters

A proposed map for the Georgia Senate would make District 17 in Henry and Newton counties and Senate District 28 in Douglas and Fulton counties predominantly Black.

A proposed Georgia House redistricting map would create five new Black majority districts in the General Assembly’s lower chamber.

According to Capitol Beat News Service, the proposed map, presented on Tuesday, would place three new districts in metro Atlanta’s southern and western areas. Two would be in Henry and Clayton Counties — which have experienced a significant increase in Black residents since the 2010 Census — with the third in Douglas County.

A fourth new Black-majority district would be in the Macon region and a fifth would be in Milledgeville. The proposed House map would change the borders of 56 of the 180 House districts, spanning from Cobb and Gwinnett counties through the metro region to Houston and Peach counties.

Georgia lawmakers have offered redrawn maps for both chambers of the General Assembly, which meets in the Capitol (above). Both would add majority-Black districts. (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Last month, U.S. District Judge Steve Jones ordered the creation of two Black-majority state Senate districts after finding that the Republican-controlled General Assembly’s congressional, state House and state Senate redistricting maps violated the federal Voting Rights Act.

In his ruling, Jones further ordered the addition of five majority-Black seats to the Georgia House and one Black-majority seat to the state’s congressional delegation.

Republicans have a 33-23 and 102-78 edge in the state Senate and House, respectively, and they control nine of Georgia’s 14 U.S. House seats.

According to Capitol Beat, a redistricting map presented on Monday would add two new Black-majority districts in the upper legislative chamber. That proposed map would make Senate District 17 in Henry and Newton counties and Senate District 28 in Douglas and Fulton counties predominantly Black.

The GOP’s Brian Strickland of McDonough, head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, represents the 17th Senate District. Republican Matt Brass of Newnan represents the 28th Senate District as chairman of the Rules Committee.

The voting-age population of Strickland’s district would go from 59.4% white to 61.8% Black under the proposed redistricting, shifting westward to include a considerable chunk of majority-Black Clayton County.

Capitol Beat reported Brass’ district would be expanded northward from Coweta County to encompass southwest Fulton, eastern Douglas, and southern Carroll counties. The voting-age population would shift from 69.4% white to 54.1% Black.

The proposed map would also alter the borders of 13 other Senate districts, with eight remaining majority Black and five staying majority white.

Jones’ decision mandated the creation of Black-majority legislative and congressional districts in areas of metro Atlanta that had witnessed tremendous growth in Black residents in recent years.

Lawmakers met on Wednesday for a court-ordered special redistricting session that will continue into next week. Jones’ ruling gives the General Assembly until Dec. 8 to redesign both legislative maps and Georgia’s congressional map.

The lawsuit that resulted in Jones’ judgment cited a 2020 Census that revealed all of Georgia’s population gain over the decade of the 2010s was among people of color, while the state’s white population dropped. However, the plaintiffs claimed that the redistricting maps the legislature drew in 2021 did not demonstrate a minority population increase.

Capitol Beat provides state government coverage to 125 daily and weekly newspapers across Georgia, and the Georgia Press Educational Foundation operates the service, according to its website.

The news service delivers gavel-to-gavel coverage of Georgia General Assembly sessions and year-round coverage of the Georgia Supreme Court, statewide elected officials, the governor’s office, legislative committee hearings, and state agencies.

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