March 8, 2011 12:57:00 PM
An open letter to the citizens of Starkville and the Starkville Mayor and Board of Aldermen:
This past Friday, March 4, 2011, the Mississippi House passed Joint Resolution 1, a plan to redistrict the Mississippi state House based on population shifts. The plan was made public around 6 p.m. on Thursday and was voted on less than 24 hours later; therefore, most Mississippians did not even get a chance to review the plan.
I have many objections to the plan, but as a citizen of Starkville I have an even greater concern about the way Starkville has been redistricted under the plan that passed the House. Under the plan, Starkville will be redistricted into four House districts, HD 23, HD 24, HD 37, and HD 38. A community the size of Starkville deserves to be represented by a single House member that will focus his or her time supporting and authoring legislation that is in Starkville''s best interest. Under the current House plan, this will not happen as each House member who represents Starkville will also be representing other areas.
Now that Joint Resolution 1, the House redistricting plan, has passed the House, it is now on its way to the Senate where they have the option of passing it as is, amending it, or not agreeing to the plan altogether.
As fellow citizens, we must stand together and protect our interest and representation in the Legislature. I am asking the leaders of the City of Starkville to take a stand and follow in the footsteps of the City of Corinth and pass a resolution immediately asking the Senate to reject the House redistricting plan on the merit that it dilutes our city''s Representation in the state House. Now is the time to take a stand for Starkville''s interests, as this plan will be our district''s for the next 10 years.