KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (JANUARY, 22, 2022) – Senators Richard Briggs (R-Dist 7) and Becky Duncan-Massey (R-Dist. 6) have doubled down on intentionally gerrymandering districts to minimize the votes of Black and Brown voters.
KCDP Chairman Matt Shears is speaking out against State Senators Richard Briggs and Becky Duncan-Massey’s support of the new gerrymandered State Senate maps as “fair.” In a recent News Sentinel interview, Massey said it is “insulting that someone would recommend Knoxville’s neighborhoods stay intact and elect their own representatives.”
Sen. Briggs said that “breaking up minority communities is actually a good thing because they now have three voices (in Nashville State House) rather than a minority Senator advocating” on behalf of their neighborhoods.
The State Senate redistricting map carves up Knoxville’s core neighborhoods as follows:
● It chops the one Black district into 3, with pieces portioned into predominantly white and/or Republican districts which dilute/renders a Democratic and/or Black voter in those districts as insignificant and overpowered in majority-Republican districts.
● The proposed redistricting divides six blocks of Magnolia Ave. between three districts
● In East Knoxville Parkridge to Fourth & Gill will encompass three districts
● Burlington will be in the Farragut district, Lonsdale with Tellico Village, and Morningside with Hardin Valley dissecting predominately democratic and Black districts effectively puts their vote in majority of opposing voters, which renders their votes obsolete.
According to Shears, during a League of Women Voters forum on gerrymandering, Sen. Briggs (R-Dist 7) could not say who represented Knoxville College, that is Rep. Lt. Gov. Rand McNally. He then admitted he didn’t know since McNally didn’t plan a meeting in the Knoxville College area, which demonstrates McNally’s lack of concern for his constituents in that area. Briggs also said that it’s better for minorities to have three white people representing them than “a (one) minority Senator.”
Sens. Briggs and Massey are attempting to defend the indefensible – blatant gerrymandering designed to silence Knoxville’s minority communities and to secure Republican dominance and their political futures, according to KCDP chairman Matt Shears.
The KCDP statement can be viewed here; Sens. Briggs and Massey are doubling down on the Seante’s Racist Gerrymander.
KCDP representatives say a response from Senators Becky Duncan-Massey, Richard Briggs, and Lt. Governor Randy McNally was solicited, but non received before this publication.
Shears wants Knoxville’s once majority-minority district citizens to know that they have a right to a response from their representatives on why they are being disenfranchised.