jacksonville, florida – The long redistricting battle between the city of Jacksonville and several civil rights groups may be coming to an end.
The Jacksonville City Council will vote Tuesday to approve or reject a settlement agreement between the city and a civil rights group that successfully filed a lawsuit against the city about the rezoning map.
For nearly a year, the parties have been trying to agree on a map that benefits all residents of Duval County, with civil rights groups claiming that the city’s proposed map permeates “racial gerrymandering.”
A federal judge rejected a rezoning plan submitted by the city council in December and decided to use maps proposed by civil rights groups such as the NAACP’s Jacksonville chapter, the American Civil Liberties Union and the North Side Coalition. .
A bill submitted to the city council says the city will continue to use the P3 map used in the current municipal election until new districts are drawn following the next census. The city will also require her to pay $100,000 in legal fees for the plaintiff if approved.
Under the settlement, plaintiffs can also ask the Court for special elections for School Board Districts 4 and 6 in 2024. These districts include some of the reorganized council districts, which held elections last year for terms through 2026.
Plaintiff has 30 days to file a motion requesting a special election or to be directed by the court.
Northside Coalition’s Ben Frazier said in a statement: “We the people” fought the city and by the grace of God won the victory! The City Council tried to bully us, but we conquered the giants. Our fight has won more power for black voters.Our fight has changed the political landscape. It’s a new day in Jacksonville where black voters really matter!”
If the City Council approves the agreement, it will be submitted to the court for final approval.
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https://www.news4jax.com/news/local/2023/04/21/jacksonville-city-council-to-consider-100000-settlement-in-redistricting-lawsuit/ Jacksonville City Council Considers $100,000 Settlement in District Reorganization Lawsuit