By Rep. Jeanette Nunez (R)Florida’s lawmakers are currently considering numerous proposals that will form the basis for our representation in Tallahassee and Washington, DC for the next decade. With so many online tools at our disposal – email, the Internet and social media – Floridians are playing a larger role in redistricting than ever before.
Last week, the Legislature received its 100th map from the public, which is 25 times greater than the number of maps received 10 years ago. We have received maps from people in 25 different counties, accounting for 2,600 potential new districts. These maps have come from Floridians of all walks of life including students in middle school, high school and college and even senior citizens. Since the beginning, our goal has been to make this redistricting process the most open and transparent process in Florida’s history. Thanks to the overwhelming number of Floridians that have taken the time to send us their input, we are receiving great ideas and have a better understanding of your concerns.
In keeping with the Sunshine State’s strong commitment to transparency in government, the Florida Legislature has been working hard to ensure that every citizen can fully participate in this important practice, giving Floridians unprecedented access to all of the information, tools, and resources needed to impact the redistricting process. This summer the Florida Legislature hosted a series of 26 public meetings on redistricting in communities throughout the state. As a member of the House Redistricting Subcommittee, I attended many of these meetings throughout the State of Florida and heard from a myriad of individuals with distinct priorities and opinions. Collectively, the Legislature heard from nearly 2,000 Floridians who spoke up and shared ideas that we are now using as part of our redistricting efforts. This open and transparent redistricting process is one that, in my opinion, appropriately prioritizes public input from the onset. In fact, some of the first maps that have been reviewed and considered in the committee process were those crafted and submitted by the public.
Public comments will still be welcomed and needed throughout the redistricting timeline. But all comments, suggestions and ideas must be submitted by November 1. Anything received after November 1 will likely be used in response to maps that have already been filed by legislators and legislative committees. Furthermore, if you would like to submit your own map, you can visit www.floridaredistricting.org to utilize the House’s MyDistrictBuilderTM application to create a partial or complete map, which you can submit directly to the Legislature. With your help, we can continue to ensure the districts we are building are compliant with state and federal redistricting laws and meet the needs of your communities.