City's Redistricting Plan Draws Democrats' Protest

December 05, 1991|By Robert Lee | Robert Lee,Staff writer

Saying it's unfair to Democrats and blacks, the Annapolis DemocraticCentral Committee voted Tuesday to oppose the city's redistricting plan.

Committee Chairman Michael T. Brown said the committee voted,5-0, Tuesday night against what he called a "Republican plan." Four members were absent.

Brown complained that the plan, which will be presented to the City Council Dec. 16, fails to establish the three majority black districts warranted by Annapolis' 33 percent black population. Instead, hecharged, it makes safe districts for all four Republican aldermen --in particular Wayne Turner, R-Ward 6, who defeated Brown by only four votes in 1989.

Brown called for the city's ranking Democrat, Mayor Alfred Hopkins, to do more to protect the party's power base.

Brown criticized Hopkins for not paying attention to party politics when he appointed the chairman and at-large members of the Annapolis Redistricting Committee. The majority of members of the redistricting committee are Republicans, he said.

"He (Hopkins) is not really an astute politician. He's a nice guy. He has to be more party-oriented and think party," Brown said.

Redistricting Committee Chairman John Prehn, a Republican, said party politics never played a role in either the selection of committee members or the seven-month redistricting process.

"We were never asked what party we were in. I don't even know what party most members belong to," Prehn said.

But Brown disagreed, saying the plan opens the door for Republicans to win a majority on the council during the next decade.

The Redistricting Committee's plan would create two black majority districts and slightlyreduce the proportion of blacks in Ward 6, where Brown is expected to challenge Turner again.

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