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Spotsylvania groups seek greater minority representation through the redistricting
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Date published: 3/30/2011
Longtime Spotsylvania County resident Horace McCaskill wants a county where race doesn't matter.
"We would love a colorblind community," he said. "But that's still a long ways off."
Monday night's Spotsylvania redistricting meeting focused almost exclusively on color and minority representation. And that's just how McCaskill, president of the Spotsylvania Citizens Roundtable for Political Action, wanted it.
Every 10 years, when new population numbers come out from the U.S. Census, supervisors are required to redraw voting district lines to make sure each has an equal number of residents so that everyone's vote counts equally.
The number of Spotsylvanians has grown to 122,397. The county is more racially diverse than in 2000. More than one-quarter of residents identify themselves as minorities, according to the Census Bureau.
This time around, Spotsylvania County is holding several community meetings to find out what residents want in the new boundaries for Board of Supervisors and School Board districts.
Six people spoke at Monday night's meeting with the redistricting working group, composed of 10 county employees from a variety of departments.
Four of those speakers asked for creation of a majority-minority district, in which racial minorities make up at least 51 percent of the population.
McCaskill's group aims to get people of color elected to positions of power in Spotsylvania. He pointed out that change could break down a longstanding barrier.
"No minority citizen
Mozett Petway, president of the Spotsylvania NAACP, brought maps to show the working group where he thought a majority-minority district could be created, by moving the southern boundary of the Salem District.
He said that the NAACP will present its own plan for redrawing district lines, but urged the county group to map out a proposal for a voting district with a high percentage of minorities.
"Just see what it looks like," Petway said. "If you can't do it, fine but at least make the effort" to draw a majority-minority district.
The working group's meetings have been open to the public, and most speakers thanked the county for that transparency.