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CONTACT: ACLU of Florida Media Office,, (786) 363-2737

May 1, 2024

MIAMI, FL – Today, local civil rights and community groups and Miami residents announce an anticipated agreement with the City of Miami, concluding a racial gerrymandering lawsuit over the Miami City Commission’s redistricting map. The agreement secures a fair map for the rest of this decade and proposes lasting reforms to the city’s redistricting process that will be submitted to the voters in a charter referendum.

The Miami City Commission is expected to vote on the agreement at its next meeting on May 9.

Under the anticipated agreement, the City will adopt a map drawn by the plaintiffs – Plaintiffs’ Map 5 or “P5” – that unifies neighborhoods across the city, including Coconut Grove, Overtown, Allapattah, and Edgewater. These neighborhoods were divided along racial lines in Commission-drawn maps struck down by a federal judge earlier this month.

“Today, we celebrate an expected end to this racial gerrymandering lawsuit, with a new map that prioritizes the people over politicians,” said Daniella Pierre, President of the Miami-Dade NAACP Branch. “Our new map unites Historic Overtown to District 5 and ensures Black residents have an equal voice in local government, as the Voting Rights Act requires.”

P5 was drawn to serve communities, rather than dividing the city along racial lines or improperly favoring incumbents or candidates, as in the struck-down maps. Unlike the maps passed by the City Commission, these new districts follow major roads and easily recognizable boundaries, rather than dividing communities and forming irregular appendages. P5 will be implemented for the November 2025 regular municipal elections and any special elections that take place before then.

“As a longtime Little Havana resident, I am proud that Miamians will finally have districts that serve our neighborhoods,” said Steven Miro, an individual plaintiff in the case. “We hope this agreement represents the beginning of a new era in Miami government. Rest assured we will continue to hold our local officials accountable to the people and the law.”

The agreement will also require the city to place a charter amendment on the November 2025 ballot for voter approval. The charter amendment will ban gerrymandering that favors particular candidates and incumbents and will create a Citizens’ Redistricting Committee to draft maps and propose them to the Commission in all future redistricting processes.

“Today’s agreement shows that when we stand together as a community, we can overcome anyone who tries to ignore our voices,” Carolyn Donaldson, executive board member of the South Dade NAACP Branch and board member of GRACE. “The map provided by today’s agreement will help our advocacy for communities in Coconut Grove and across Miami, and particularly its Black residents.”

The agreement is expected to resolve the case GRACE, Inc. v. City of Miami, which challenged the Miami City Commission’s maps for unconstitutionally dividing neighborhoods along racial lines and undermining fair representation. The case was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida and Dechert LLP on behalf of local organizations Grove Rights and Community Equity, Engage Miami, the Miami-Dade and South Dade NAACP Branches, and five individual residents.

“This agreement includes systemic reforms that will help avoid additional litigation in future redistricting cycles,” said Rebecca Pelham, executive director of Engage Miami. “This charter amendment is an important step toward open and fair democracy in Miami. We look forward to working with Miamians to expand on these reforms.”

The agreement also resolves a related lawsuit in state court brought under Florida’s Government in the Sunshine Law and filed by Reid Levin PLLC and the ACLU of Florida. “

“We are thankful this lengthy court battle will bring lasting reforms that strengthen democracy in Miami,” said Nicholas Warren, staff attorney with the ACLU of Florida. “We hope this agreement leads to continued progress towards a city government that works for – and listens to – all its residents.” After the City Commission’s vote, the agreement will be submitted to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida for final approval and entry of a consent decree.

“After three unconstitutional maps, five motions to dismiss, two appeals, two preliminary injunctions, a summary judgment motion, a two-day trial with fourteen witnesses, court-ordered mediation, and a trip to the U.S. Supreme Court, we are thrilled the Miami City Commission has finally stopped fighting their own citizens and realized the people deserve fair representation, nothing less,” said Neil Steiner, Dechert litigation partner.

The P5 map can be viewed here and on Google Maps at this link.