City Council Map Packs Black Communities Into Just Four Districts, Denying Them Equal Representation and a Fair Voice in Government
JACKSONVILLE, FL. – On Friday September 16th, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida and the Harvard Election Law Clinic will participate in oral arguments and conduct an in-person press conference for a preliminary injunction motion to halt use of Jacksonville’s City Council and School Board maps in the 2023 and 2024 elections. The voting rights groups are challenging the new maps that deny Black communities a fair voice in government and fair representation on the City Council and School Board.
The preliminary injunction motion was filed as part of the ongoing litigation—Jacksonville Branch of the NAACP v. City of Jacksonville—filed on behalf of local organizations including the Jacksonville NAACP Branch, the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, the Northeast Chapter of the ACLU of Florida, Florida Rising and 10 individual residents.
Who: Attorneys from opposing sides of Jacksonville NAACP v. Jacksonville
When: Friday September 16th, 10:00 a.m.
Where: Bryan Simpson U.S. Courthouse, 300 North Hogan St. Jacksonville, Fl. 32202
Who: Voting Rights Organizations and Jacksonville residents
When: Friday September 16th, 12:30 p.m. (or 30 minutes after oral arguments conclude)
Where: Jessie Ball DuPont Center, Northern Trust Seminar Room 219, 40 E Adams St, Jacksonville, FL 32202
Please RSVP HERE. Plaintiffs and voting rights attorneys will be available for questions following the press conference.
In March 2022, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry signed into law new City Council and School Board maps, redrawing the voting districts for the next decade. The City Council drew district lines that intentionally packed Black residents into Council Districts 7, 8, 9 and 10. The map also ensures that adjacent Districts 2, 12 and 14 have artificially large white populations.
The gerrymandered City Council map packs Black voters into only 4 supermajority Black districts out of the total 14 single-member districts in the city. This unnecessarily segregates the community of Jacksonville along racial lines, and artificially diminishes the power of Black voters compared to other voters in the City.
In response, the ACLU of Florida, Harvard Election Law Clinic and SPLC filed a case— Jacksonville Branch of the NAACP v. City of Jacksonville—on May 3, 2022 on behalf of local activists and voting rights organizations to challenge the City Council map. The litigation also challenges the racial gerrymandering of Duval County School Board Districts 4, 5 and 6, which are based on the City Council Districts.
On July 22, the plaintiffs filed a preliminary injunction motion to halt the use of the maps ahead of the 2023 elections.