Hello ladies and gentlemen.
My name is Michele Levy and I am the Vice President of the Orange County League of Women Voters.
I am very concerned that the Legislature is holding these 26 hearings around the state in an attempt to get useful feedback and comments from the citizens, but no maps, drawn by the legislators, are being provided for citizens to comment on. This exercise is a total waste of time and money. Other states have had public hearings to allow citizens the opportunity to comment and provide feedback on the proposed maps. Have legislators drawn these maps yet? If so, where are they, and if not, what are they waiting for? When do they plan to draw them? Or have they already drawn them in some back room in Tallahassee with the intent of springing them on the public during the last weeks of the session, leaving only 3 days for public comment.
As it stands now, these hearings have no purpose other than to make legislators appear to be listening, but they are not giving the public an opportunity for meaningful comment on real maps. Many states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma have already completed or almost completed redistricting, in an open and accessible process. What are we waiting for in Florida?