The map secures fair representation in Panama City Commission elections for the next decade
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - December 13, 2022
CONTACT: ACLU of Florida Media Office, email@example.com, (786) 363-2737
Panama City, Fla. — Today, the Panama City Commission unanimously approved a new redistricting map for the four city wards, updating the boundaries following the 2020 Census. The new map passed with the support of a coalition of community groups advocating for fair redistricting: the Bay County NAACP, ACURE (Advisory Committee for Urban Revitalization Equity), the Student Advocacy Center, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida.
In recent months, the City Commission and city staff worked with these organizations to develop a new redistricting map that protects Black voters’ ability to participate in city government and ensure equal representation for all residents. Shifting populations in the past decade had made the wards unequal in size, requiring adjustments to comply with the U.S. Constitution’s “One Person, One Vote” requirement.
“Commissioners and community members came together in this redistricting process to reach a consensus on a map that best serves the people of Panama City,” said Rufus Wood, Bay County NAACP President. “This map moves us forward and brings the city back in line with the law and Constitution.”
“When ACURE members stepped up to successfully challenge the City’s election system 38 years ago, fair representation was the goal,” said Myron Hines, ACURE Chair. “Fair representation remains the goal, and this new map will secure the promise of the Voting Rights Act for years to come.”
“The Commission's vote today means Panama City can proceed with its new map in the April 2023 elections for Wards II and III,” said Nicholas Warren, staff attorney with the ACLU of Florida. “This redistricting restores equal representation, makes adjustments to better serve neighborhood needs, and fulfills the city’s obligations under the Voting Rights Act.”
The new ward map can be viewed on Google Maps at this link.