The Shape of Things: GA-03
The district: Georgia’s 3rd Congressional district stretches from Columbus to Atlanta and has a sizable Black population. According to FiveThirtyEight, the district has a 97.3 percent chance of being represented by a Republican.
Who represents it? Drew Ferguson. This congressman is no stranger to controversy or — memoirs that glorify racist Confederate generals.
After The Washington Post uncovered the book: “Gen. Robert Edward Lee: Soldier, Citizen, and Christian Patriot” in his office, Ferguson claimed his staff put it there. OK, sure.
His voting record is worrisome too. He’s supported more than 96 percent of the president’s agenda. And of course, he described efforts to hold the administration accountable during the impeachment inquiry as a campaign led by “the liberal elites, the condescending bureaucrats and every other kind of swamp critter.”
It’s clear: Congressman Ferguson is another extreme politician who will do whatever it takes to protect his party, even if it means ignoring his duty to uphold the constitution.
Our Shape of Things series raises awareness about the barriers to political representation in local communities.
How did we get here? A party-line vote. Well, two actually. During the last redistricting process, Georgia’s congressional map passed Georgia’s House of Representatives — over the objections of then House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams. Since Abrams was unable to stop them, it passed through the state Senate.
Former Congressman John Barrow had to move because his hometown was drawn out of the district he represented. Barrow condemned the politicians behind this map manipulation scheme saying they, “have put politics above the interests of the people I represent.”
Why does this matter? The people of Georgia deserve to have their voices heard. By drawing the maps to maintain an advantage, the state’s conservative map manipulators effectively stripped their constituents of fair representation. Our democracy works best when everyone has a fair shot, an equal voice, and stands on an even playing field. The decision of extreme politicians to gerrymander Georgia for their benefit shows that they would rather cheat the system than serve the communities of their diverse state.
What’s next for Georgia? First, the 2020 Census. Legislators in Georgia will soon have the chance to redraw the maps based on the new population count. Therefore, it’s imperative that Georgians vote for legislators they believe will draw fair maps because those lawmakers will be in charge of the redistricting process after the census count. One of the chances to achieve fair maps in Georgia is by making sure extreme legislators aren’t reelected in November.
Since the Governor of Georgia is an extreme Republican, we can’t count on him to veto gerrymandered maps written by his own party. But, it’s up to us to hold mapmakers accountable during the redistricting process, too. We’ll have to attend the hearings, call our representatives, and make our voices heard. We must make sure the maps that are ultimately passed aren’t another set of extreme gerrymanders.
Georgia is one of All On The Line’s target states because we know action is needed to achieve fair maps there. Otherwise, folks like Drew Ferguson, backed by special interests including the gun lobby, will continue to represent gerrymandered districts and ignore the will of the people. His kind of extremism doesn’t belong anywhere — let alone on full display on his personal congressional bookshelf.
To restore fairness in districts like GA-03, we must fund our plans with sustained donations. Can you help our efforts in GA-03 and districts like it with a recurring contribution?
All On The Line is the grassroots advocacy campaign supported by the National Redistricting Action Fund. Support our work to end gerrymandering.
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