OPINION: Florida Supreme Court Needs To Bust Gerrymandering In State

By Dr. Marion D. Thorpe

The basic concepts of fairness and accountability have eluded some of Florida’s US Congressional Districts on a regrettably consistent basis through the years.

Though originally founded on the belief that Congressional re-districting should provide people with United States Representatives who look like them, worship like them, and/or come from where they are from, the repeated outcome of Florida’s US Congressional Districts has crossed the line when it comes to gerrymandering. On this matter the Florida Supreme Court and I are in agreement.

Reaching mutual agreement on the fact that our Congressional lines are less than fair to the people of Florida turns out to be the easy part. Reaching consensus on how best to re-draw Florida’s Congressional lines before the 2016 election has not been so easy.

The Florida Supreme Court hearing on November 10, 2015 will finalize new (and hopefully fair) US Congressional lines. As the hearing approaches, cries of desperation have been voiced more loudly by politicians than by Floridians. Quite frankly, I have a deaf ear when it comes to proponents of “coronations, incumbency, and safe-seats;” but rather, I care deeply about my fellow citizens who have been overlooked and taken for granted by “win at all cost” politicians.

As someone who traveled the State of Florida extensively (the 3rd largest state in the Union) while serving as Chief Medical Officer at the State of Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration, I am well aware that our needs in the southernmost portion of Miami-Dade county are different from other parts of the state.

Plain and simple, our US Representative must be attuned to our concerns, and more importantly, accountable to “We the People” regarding the issues that are important to us.

It is my strongest hope that the Florida Supreme Court will make certain that my fellow citizens are provided a fair Congressional election map; thus ensuring proper and accountable representation in Washington, D.C.

Marion D. Thorpe, Jr. MD MPH is the former Chief Medical Officer for the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. You can follow his blog here

Cover Photo Credit: Stephen Nakatani/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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