The watchdog group Common Cause Georgia, as part of the Georgia Redistricting Alliance, will host a forum Thursday to prepare concerned residents for an upcoming redistricting hearing in Augusta.
The forum will help residents "articulate what's important in their communities," in advance of Tuesday's hearing, which seeks public comment on the way U.S. Congress and Georgia Senate and House lines are redrawn to reflect population changes, said Common Cause board member Terry Taylor.
Due to 2010 census gains, Georgia will add a seat in Congress, while flat growth in Augusta means the city likely will lose pull in the General Assembly as state legislative districts are redrawn to add people.
How those lines are drawn will be determined when the General Assembly convenes August 15, but the public shouldn't miss its opportunity to weigh in, Taylor said.
"Speaking up about your community is critical to ensuring district lines are drawn to keep your community whole and grouped with nearby communities with similar interests," said Krista Brewer of Georgia WAND, another member organization of Georgia Redistricting Alliance.
The forum is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at Augusta-Richmond County Public Library. The state House and Senate Joint Redistricting Committee hearing begins at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the student activity center at Augusta State University.