MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Florida Legislative Black Caucus is fighting back after state Republicans voted to pass Gov. Ron DeSantis’ redistricting map.
“I just want to warn Governor DeSantis and Republicans that you have just awakened a sleeping giant,” said state Senator Shevrin Jones from Miami Gardens.READ MORE: Couples Set To Make 2022 A Record Year For Tying The Knot
Opponents argue that the map cuts in half the number of Florida congressional seats normally held by Black representatives from 4 to 2.
They say it also dilutes Florida’s Democratic representation in Washington.
“They basically stacked the deck 20-8 in favor of Republicans, so this allows this power-hungry GOP to continue to ignore the needs of the people of Florida by cheating,” said State Representative Dotie Joseph from North Miami. Now, they’re vowing to take action.
”Just know we’re not cow-towing. We’re going to fight and fight and fight until that change comes,” said State Senator Rosalind Osgood from Tamarac.
Vanessa Woodard Byers has lived in North West Miami-Dade for decades.
She grew up in the Panhandle while her parents were very active in the civil rights movement.
She’s carried on the fight by organizing voters and demonstrations.READ MORE: Pedestrian Fatalities In The US Reach Highest Level In 40 Years
And said she’s ready again.
“This is really fish or cut bait time. We’ve got to get people out to vote,” she said.
“I think what happened yesterday in Tallahassee is going to spark another movement,” Woodard Byers said.
She believes people will join that movement, making themselves heard at the polls.
“It won’t make me give up. That it will not do. I owe it to my parents,” she said. “I owe it to all of those people who sacrificed. I owe it to them and I owe to future generations to make it better for them,” she said.
The redistricting map already faces legal challenges.
Governor DeSantis defends the map saying it was created to withstand congressional scrutiny.MORE NEWS: College Grads Having No Problem Finding Work
On Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill implementing the new congressional redistricting map for the state.