The east Severna Park group that protested a County Council redistricting proposal at the Arundel Center two weeks ago was so encouraged by its success that organizers are planning another battle -- in the General Assembly.
"This redistricting issue has galvanized me and a lot of other people in this area," said Deborah Fitzgerald, a founder of the Severna Park Action Redistricting Coalition.
"There's been a large amount of apathy about government recently,and we've decided we need to be more active so our leaders know whatwe're doing."
Fitzgerald said representatives from five east Severna Park communities met Sunday and will meet again tonight. He said they will lobby the county's General Assembly delegation to have their communities removed from the North County-dominated District 31.
A finger of District 31 now stretches all the way down the east sideof Ritchie Highway to Manhattan Beach, a relic of the 1980 redistricting process, SPARC members say.
Hearings on the state redistricting will begin after the legislature convenes in January.
Approximately 200 residents from Berrywood, Stewart's Landing, Magothy Forest,Lower Magothy and Riverdale showed up at a public hearing last monthto protest a plan that would have pulled their communities out of Diane Evans' 5th District and placed them in District 3, now represented by Carl "Dutch" Holland.
The group argued that since their mail is addressed to Severna Park, their children attend Severna Park schools and play sports in Severna Park leagues, they shop in Severna Park stores and share Severna Park's political concerns, they should be represented by the same politicians.
The Charter Revision Commission plans to present two redistricting maps to the County Council Monday night that would keep east Severna Park in District 5.
But since the 1990 census shows that District 5 now has 7,000 too many residents, it appears that their victory will come at the expense of eitherLower Broadneck or Shipley's Choice, Brightwood and Hillendale.
The plan favored by the majority of the commission would place Broadneck south of U.S. 50 in Maureen Lamb's 6th District.
The minority plan, which was also submitted, would place the 15th Precinct, including the western half of Shipley's Choice, Hillendale and Brightwood, in District 5, now represented by County Councilman Dave Boschert, D-Crownsville. The proposal also would place neighborhoods north of Earleigh Heights Road in District 3.