This Won’t Be Pretty – Redistricting Edition

Even though the State Legislature probably won’t tackle redistricting until next year, right now is the time to start thinking about it. Wednesday night, my buddy and blogfather, Leftwingcracker and I talked to the Germantown Democratic Club about this and other topics.

As the CA and other outlets reported last week, Shelby County, and Memphis in particular, hasn’t kept pace with the rest of the state population wise. Not even a little bit. That means there’s going to be some radical changes with the next district maps, and it isn’t going to be good for our Democratic Representatives and Senators in Nashville.

Below is a graphic that includes the current House and Senate Districts in Shelby county.

Click for larger, less fuzzy image

As you can see, there are 16 House seats and 6 Senate seats. Thanks to the absolute lack of population growth in the past 10 years, that won’t be the case in 2012.

Based on the work of Nashville Blogger Sean Braisted, it’s looking like Big Shelby is going to lose two House Seats and 1 Senate Seat.

If you look at the numbers on his post, every Democratic seat in Shelby Co., with the exception of HD85 has lost population since 2000. By contrast, the only Republican held seat to lose population is HD97 held by Jim Coley. But they’re not going to draw him out. Nope, we’re probably going to see some Democrats put in the same district, and that’s not going to be good for the party as a whole, or the county.

I wrote about this possibility back in May of 2009, and it looks like my suspicions were right on target.

The only possible consolation that may come of all this is that one Republican district in east Shelby may have to become a little more blue. All that depends on how they draw the districts, and I’ll guarantee you, they won’t do that until they absolutely have to.

With huge majorities in the House and the Senate, Republicans run redistricting. This means that not only are our state legislators going to have a lot of new ground to cover, but so will our Congressman, Steve Cohen.

What this requires is some serious organizing all over the county. Some areas are better at it than others, but every single precinct has to get it together to drive out the vote in 2012. We can’t rely on Obama, or anyone else to do it for us, not that they won’t be working their butts off anyway. We have to take charge of the situation and get it done for ourselves.

This weekend is the SDCP reorganization. It’ll be held at American Way Middle School on 3805 American Way. If you are a registered voter in Shelby County and care about electing people who carry the Democratic banner, please attend.

Even if you don’t want to be a delegate or serve on the SCDP executive committee, just show up to show your support. You’ll meet Democrats from all over the county, and at the very least, have the chance to meet some folks from your own district you may have never met before.

Registration starts at 9am. You must be registered or in line for registration by 10:30 am to participate.

Hope to see you there.

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