Fair and objective redistricting a must

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 22, 2001

We’re not often fans of Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck’s approach to government, but in recent weeks we find ourselves supporting her on two key issues: the importance of a fair and thorough redistricting plan and the reapportioning of college board seats based on those new districts.

The lieutenant governor supports the need for a redistricting plan that’s &uot;fair and in the best interest of this whole state.&uot;

That’s an ambitious goal, considering Mississippi will lose one of its five congressional districts in this process. And, given the consideration that Adams County and neighboring counties in Southwest Mississippi are among the areas most likely affected by redistricting proposals, we certainly want a fair and representative process.

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Politics is a dangerous beast – a necessary byproduct of the democracy we hold so dear. But politics has no business in the redistricting process. The process must remain as impartial and objective as possible – and the taxpayers in places like Southwest Mississippi must maintain a representative voice in congress.

Moreover, we deserve that fair and representative voice on the state College Board, a majority of whose 12 members are now appointed based on the 1944 congressional districts – districts which reflect population data from more than 50 years ago. Growth – along the coast, in north Mississippi, even in southwest Mississippi and central Mississippi – isn’t fairly reflected in that College Board system.

It’s time our leaders look at Mississippi as a whole; if they can do that, as Tuck has challenged, residents in the southwest corner should benefit.