WKRG News 5

Mobile activist groups hold presentation to explain Alabama congressional redistricting map

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The Mobile NAACP, Stand Up Mobile, and other local activists groups held a presentation to help Mobile residents understand how they will be impacted by the upcoming special session for the state to redistrict the congressional districts following a Supreme Court decision in June.

The Supreme Court of the United States voted that Alabama’s current congressional districts violated the Voting Rights Act, requiring the state to redraw the congressional districts maps and include a second majority-minority district.

Currently, the state has one.

Attendees of the presentation like Reggie Weaver believe the Supreme Court’s decision was a win for the black community, as he believes adding another district will help the black representation in voting.

“We as black folks, especially in the state of Alabama, have fought for over decades,” Weaver said. “But more importantly, as we think about all of the challenges we face, not just to voting rights, but voting impacts every other part of our lives.”

One of the attendees in the meeting, Shalela Dowdy, is one of the plaintiffs in that Supreme Court case. She explained the overall goal during the special session is to redistrict part of Mobile in District 1.

“The goal is to grab the city of Mobile because Mobile right now is a majority black city,” explained Dowdy. “Grab Prichard, and Montgomery and it should be the black belt. That’s, for the most part, the goal.”

Robert Clopton Head of Mobile’s NAACP Chapter believes the Supreme Court decision gives black voters the opportunity to have their voices heard. 

“You can’t have anyone when there is discriminatory racial lines,” said Clopton. “A gerrymandered district. So therefore again, it’s a level playing field and everyone’s excited. We’re optimistic and it definitely gives us an opportunity for that minority majority, minority congressional district.”

Weaver, Dowdy, and Clopton plan to go to Montgomery for the special legislative session on July 17, hoping to see a map that will better represent black voters.

“I’m hoping to see is that maps drawn that are consistent with the wishes of the people,” said Clopton.