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Black Lawmakers Stage Protest as Florida GOP Approves Gerrymandered Congressional Map

HeadlineApr 22, 2022

Republican state legislators in Tallahassee, Florida, have approved a gerrymandered congressional voting map drawn by Governor Ron DeSantis which virtually guarantees Republicans four more seats in the House of Representatives. On Thursday, Florida’s House voted 68 to 38 in favor of the map, sending it to Governor DeSantis for his signature. The vote was delayed after Black Florida lawmakers staged an impromptu sit-in protest against the congressional redistricting plan.

Black Florida lawmakers: “Whose house? The people’s house! Whose house? The people’s house! Whose house? The people’s house!”

State Representative Dianne Hart, a Democrat from Tampa, live-streamed video from the floor of the Florida House chamber as she joined Thursday’s protest. She said DeSantis’s map is meant to disenfranchise Black voters.

Rep. Dianne Hart: “We know that what the governor is doing with these maps is not fair. He is taking us from four representatives to two. That’s not fair. He should have allowed us, the Legislature, to draw maps. His job is to either accept them or veto them. But he’s not doing that. Instead, he’s sending his own map, and he’s saying, 'If you don't vote on my map the way I want my map to be, then guess what: You won’t get a map.’”

Also on Thursday, Florida’s House voted to rescind Walt Disney World’s self-governing status, after Governor DeSantis and his allies blasted Disney for opposing Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law. The bill now heads to DeSantis’s desk for his signature. 

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