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Augusta redistricting committee seeks lower minority percentages

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With a second draft map in hand, one that reunites the Sand Ridge neighborhood into a single district and adjusts districts 3, 4 and 5, the ad hoc committee charged with redrawing Augusta Commission and Richmond County school board district lines sent consultant Linda Meggers off Thursday to again revise the lines.

The map presented at a committee working session Thursday meets the demand of Sand Ridge neighborhood activist Sammie Sias, who has said his neighborhood has been split for a decade.

The second draft also returns a swath west of Barton Chapel Road to its original home in District 3, while adding precincts from districts 3 and 4 located south of Gordon Highway and west of Barton Chapel Road into District 5.

Like Meggers’ first draft, Plan 2 works from existing districts and includes four districts in which the percentage of the population who is black or multiracial including black is greater than 70 percent.

Sen. Hardie Davis, one of four Augusta legislators serving on the 12-member committee, said he’d like to see that change.

“Why are we maintaining districts that are 74 percent black or white?” Davis said. “None of these districts need to be 74 percent anything.”

Davis said the sharp delineations will prevent “multiracial coalitions,” but fellow committee members from the Augusta Commission disagreed.

To start over now, Augusta Commissioner Bill Lockett said, “might be good for 2022,” the next time district lines are redrawn based on census findings.

“It appears to me that the delegation is putting the plan in place,” not the locally serving members of the commission and school board, Lockett said.

Rep. Quincy Murphy said the legislative delegation “represents the same constituents that you do,” asking that the four commission and four school board committee members “be patient.”

After the 2 ½-hour meeting, Commissioner Jerry Brigham and school board member Jack Padgett said the effect of decreasing the minority percentage to between 50 percent and 65 percent, as Davis wants, likely will increase the overall number of districts with minority representation.

While they’ve taken public comment during three public hearings and online at augustaga.gov, the body agreed Thursday for Meggers to attempt a third map plan that keeps districts less than 65 percent black and incorporates whatever concerns committee members e-mail to Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey during the next few days.

The group will meet again at 4 p.m. Thursday in the Richmond County Board of Education auditorium, 864 Broad St., to review the new proposal.

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mikeelliott
85
Points
mikeelliott 10/28/11 - 06:30 am
0
0
Now, I might not be a smart

Now, I might not be a smart man, but if the goal is racial harmony why do we insist that our decision makers divide us along racial lines? The community at large doesn't have a race problem. If you desire for folks to get along why can't there be districts designed by neighborhoods or physical boundaries? What is intended for the good of the community should be the same for everyone in that community...no matter the race. Like I said, I might not be a smart man. Just a little simple-minded, maybe.

Riverman1
94245
Points
Riverman1 10/28/11 - 06:41 am
0
0
Of course it will decrease

Of course it will decrease minority representation if you have 70% black districts. The city is predominantly black and should have predominantly black representation is the truth of the matter. Along with the major elected officials. The rest of the CSRA can get along just fine with such a government.

seenitB4
98477
Points
seenitB4 10/28/11 - 07:24 am
0
0
This is kinda funny....when I

This is kinda funny....when I lived in Richmond county they were wrestling with the black/white numbers & I see they STILL ARE...when will it stop???.......back years ago they made a mess of the neighborhoods by dividing & sending some kids from south of the Gordon Hy.to schools in town areas...heheh....how well did that work forya...that move made Columbia county grow by leaps & bounds.....too bad they can't designate where folks should live...it would make it so much easier for the bean counters..HAH!

allhans
24964
Points
allhans 10/28/11 - 08:30 am
0
0
When WILL it end? "Racial"

When WILL it end? "Racial" was, I thought, a thing of the past, but there are those who refuse to let go for their own personal reasons, and we continue on as if we are enemies rather than the friends that we are.

Riverman1
94245
Points
Riverman1 10/28/11 - 08:07 am
0
0
I totally understand the

I totally understand the blacks' view. Everytime they are affected adversely it's said race shouldn't matter. If you don't think the white politicians in Augusta manipulate matters to obtain their goals such as the white elephant TEE center, look at the election of Matt Aitken whom they found who knows where.

Justin4466
43
Points
Justin4466 10/28/11 - 08:28 am
0
0
It sounds like the

It sounds like the recommendation Sen. Davis and the delegation is making will put our community on a track to forge racial harmony. It will mean that any given elected official will have to represent all races and not ignore one because he only has 30% in his district. Intentionally stacking 75% of any demographic in a voting group is divisive and should be avoided where possible.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 10/28/11 - 08:54 am
0
0
It would be interesting to

It would be interesting to see political maps overlaid with racial demographics maps for Richmond and surrounding counties spanning from, say 1970 to present.

Anybody know if this data exists and where it can be found?

seenitB4
98477
Points
seenitB4 10/28/11 - 08:54 am
0
0
Sometimes the decisions the

Sometimes the decisions the government makes creates more division...I've seen this over & over.....like the ole saying....gov.can mess up a 2 person parade.

Riverman1
94245
Points
Riverman1 10/28/11 - 09:03 am
0
0
BJPhys, I don't know. I was

BJPhys, I don't know. I was thinking about how blacks are never elected to anything in Augusta except their heavily black populated districts. But Ed McIntyre comes to mind. I wonder how in the world he was ever elected? Massive black turnout?

Riverman1
94245
Points
Riverman1 10/28/11 - 09:04 am
0
0
BJPhysics, if you look up

BJPhysics, if you look up past census counts that info would be there.

Vito45
-2
Points
Vito45 10/28/11 - 09:12 am
0
0
That was a long time ago for

That was a long time ago for me, but my recollection is that Ed was fairly popular for his work on the County Commission; and the white guy running against him was a redneck gomer. I preferred Ed over this other guy so I'm sure a lot of other non-minorities did too.

**edit** They say 10% of the white vote. http://www.nytimes.com/1981/10/29/us/augusta-ga-gets-black-mayor.html

Riverman1
94245
Points
Riverman1 10/28/11 - 09:16 am
0
0
Vito, thanks great link. If

Vito, thanks great link. If the other guy, Taylor, was a redneck gomer, McIntyre still only got 10% of the white vote.

david jennings
625
Points
david jennings 10/28/11 - 12:32 pm
0
0
riverman said the city is

riverman said the city is predominately black, well I'm white so when we talk about the minority that is now whites? By the way,I voted for McIntyre whatever that means, and it appears the district I live in (west of BC) previously district4 will now be district5, dang and I voted for A Mason twice. There goes my chance to vote against him.

GodisSoGood
1065
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GodisSoGood 10/28/11 - 01:24 pm
0
0
Why can't people live where

Why can't people live where they want to live and let the government not interfere? I'm willing to bet that the government could mandate that two neighborhood be half white and half-black. Then a few years later, lift the mandate and watch what happens. The neighborhoods will return to predominantly white and predominantly black. Why? Because people want to be wth their own kind, and there is nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately, whites who want to be with whites are labeled as being racist, whereas blacks wanting to be with blacks have the excuse "it's a black thing you [non-blacks] wouldn't understand".

Vito45
-2
Points
Vito45 10/28/11 - 01:31 pm
0
0
I think you are mistaken. It

I think you are mistaken. It is not black/white, it is cultural. People tend to want to associate with others whom they have a lot in common with besides color. That goes to politics, religion, behavior, social interests etc. I can show you many neighborhoods that are predominately white that I wouldn't be interested in living in if I had alternatives. Those include the hoity toity as well as the lower income.

Vito45
-2
Points
Vito45 10/28/11 - 01:37 pm
0
0
RM, perhaps someone with a

RM, perhaps someone with a better memory can refresh me on Joe Taylor. Maybe it was one of the other candidates I was unimpressed with. At any rate, I was one of the 10% who voted for McIntyre.

Brad Owens
4914
Points
Brad Owens 10/28/11 - 05:48 pm
0
0
Sen. Hardie Davis is pretty

Sen. Hardie Davis is pretty smart.

augusta citizen
10050
Points
augusta citizen 10/28/11 - 07:21 pm
0
0
RM, "look at the election of

RM, "look at the election of Matt Aitken whom they found who knows where." I think he moved downtown as part of First Presbyterian's ministry for more of their membership to move downtown and witness/live/interact in the inner city.

seenitB4
98477
Points
seenitB4 10/29/11 - 08:05 am
0
0
vitosaid.... Those include

vitosaid....
Those include the hoity toity as well as the lower income.

vito where does the hoity-toity live in the CSRA...I want to avoid them when I move back...:)
I think I'd rather be with the rednck good ole boys...you know...the ones with money but you would never know it...:)

Vito45
-2
Points
Vito45 10/29/11 - 08:20 am
0
0
I suspect you know where the

I suspect you know where the hoity toity are most prevalent; and like you, I prefer to associate with those less pretentious.

seenitB4
98477
Points
seenitB4 10/29/11 - 08:25 am
0
0
Heheheh....I might know where

Heheheh....I might know where they "play" too.

:)

Riverman1
94245
Points
Riverman1 10/29/11 - 08:39 am
0
0
David Jennings brings us a

David Jennings brings us a good point and I totally agree. Whites are now the minority in Richmond County and should be given voting rights protection under the Civil Rights Act. Explain to me how the courts cannot rule in favor of such measures?

Little Lamb
49247
Points
Little Lamb 10/29/11 - 10:24 pm
0
0
Riverman wrote: The city is

Riverman wrote:

The city is predominantly black and should have predominantly black representation is the truth of the matter.

Well, the system that Don Grantham and Charles Walker created was meant to maintain a 50%/50% racial split in city government, no matter how the population demographics changed.

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