The map divides neighborhoods along racial lines and packs Black and Hispanic voters into particular districts
MIAMI, FL – Today, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida and Dechert LLP concluded a trial in a case on behalf of Grove Rights and Community Equity (GRACE), Engage Miami, the South Dade and Miami-Dade NAACP Branches, and five individual city residents challenging the Miami City Commission’s racially gerrymandered district map.
The complaint states that the Miami City’s Commission map divides neighborhoods along racial lines, packs Black and Hispanic voters into specific districts, and undermines fair representation. Plaintiffs have sought to correct these constitutional violations and have asked the court to order a constitutional map for the City of Miami.
The trial took place this week at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami, Florida.
The complaint can be viewed here.
Plaintiffs and attorneys in the case responded with the following:
Rev. Nathaniel Robinson III, board member at GRACE:
“The Voting Rights Act and Florida’s Fair Districts Amendments protect residents' rights to equitable and fair representation. The elected leadership of our city not only ignored the voices of voters but also egregiously disregarded federal and state law. It is our hope and prayer that this trial will result in a mighty flood of justice and an endless river of righteousness in the City of Miami.”
Carolyn Donaldson, executive board member at the NAACP South Dade Branch:
“We have remained diligent and look forward to a positive outcome from this case because the issue continues to be about creating an equitable district map for the City of Miami that respects the voices of the people, acknowledges interested neighborhoods, and creates logical boundaries that preserve communities.”
Rebecca Pelham, executive director of Engage Miami:
“As we end this trial, we remain committed to ensuring that the City of Miami is one in which residents can be confident that their voting rights are protected and that racial gerrymandering will not impact the district maps that determine representation of residents.”
Carrie McNamara, staff attorney at the ACLU of Florida:
“The plaintiffs have been imploring the Miami City Commission to stop racially gerrymandering the city, stop dividing neighborhoods, stop assigning residents to districts based on race. It is because the City Commission refused to address the plaintiffs’ repeated entreaties for two years that we had to go to court to make the City Commission take their constitutional duties seriously. Finally, Miamians had their day in court to put a stop to the racial gerrymandering of the Miami City Commission.”