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Ignoring Residents’ Outcry, County Council Approves a Gerrymandered Redistricting Map

The new County Council district map [Photo Credit: The Maryland Matters]

The new County Council district map. The finger-shaped area in College Park is added to District 1. Critics say this was to prevent a candidate from running in the upcoming County election.  [Photo Credit: The Maryland Matters]

Yesterday the County Council voted 6-3 to approve the latest County Council’s gerrymandered redistricting map. This happened after an intense public hearing, where 120+ residents spoke against the new map for nearly 6 hours.

Not a single resident spoke in support of the new plan.

Council members Dernoga, Glaros and Ivey voted against the new map.

The changes that the County Council made to the latest map are pretty significant, and they are done without consulting or letting residents know. Some of the Council colleagues even didn’t know about these changes, until the vote was taken last month.

It’s a very bad idea for elected officials to pick up their own constituents, and unfortunately, this is exactly what the County Council did.

The new map has taken out the Autoville neighborhood in College Park from the west side of the current County Council district 1, but the Calvert Hills neighborhood is added to the south of district 1. No explanation was given for these changes. The only explanation residents have – to prevent a Council candidate from running in the upcoming County election. That candidate currently lives in the Calvert Hills, and he has been campaigning in District 3 for months. The county charter states a person must live in a district for at least one year prior to running in a primary election.

There are other candidates who were expected to challenge incumbents in 2022 who were drawn out of their districts. For example, Krystal Oriadha was running for a seat in District 7. She lost by 30 votes in the last election and had already started campaigning for the next. The new map would move where she lives in Seat Pleasant from District 7 to District 5.

The video of yesterday’s hearing should be available later today or tomorrow at https://pgccouncil.us/303/County-Council-Video under Available Archives and yesterday’s date.

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