Vinings Would Join Cherokee, Bartow in Redrawn District
It will take at least a few days for the new districts to work their way through the Georgia Legislature.
Vinings would be included in a congressional district with Cherokee and Bartow counties under a draft map released Monday.
The proposed change would put the community into the 11th Congressional District now represented by Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey. The 11th already includes part of Smyrna and the newly drawn lines would pick up Vinings and then dogleg into Buckhead to include the northern neighborhoods of that Atlanta community.
Today, Republican Rep. Tom Price represents Vinings as part of the 6th District.
Bill Voegeli, president of the Vinings Homeowners Association, said it was too early to assess what a change in district would mean for Vinings. Part of that is because most of the governmental issues that Vinings deals with is performed on the county level.
“Tom Price has been a big help to us, but from a percentage standpoint, the majority of the concerns we have we take to the county,’’ he said.
Political observers had expected Price’s District to be expanded into Buckhead, since he represents Sandy Springs, seen as a community with similar interests. But the redrawn maps stop the 6th at the Atlanta line and remove Vinings from the district.
As noted by the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, not only would House Republicans hold on to their majority under the proposal, but part of the city of Atlanta would have GOP representation for the first time in many years.
That's because Gingrey's 11th would take in portions of Buckhead while retaining the city of Marietta and parts of north and west Cobb. The sprawling district that currently includes Paulding, Bartow, Chattooga, Floyd, Polk and portions of Carroll and Gordon counties would lose most of those outlying areas to the new 14th district.
The new 11th would keep all of Bartow County and add all of Cherokee County as well as pull in most of the Smyrna area currently in the 13th district seat of Rep. David Scott, an Atlanta Democrat.
While the redrawn 6th district held by Price would also keep most of East Cobb and Northeast Cobb, north Fulton and Dunwoody, it would lose Cherokee. The new seat would take in Sandy Springs and the Brookhaven, Chamblee, Doraville and Tucker areas of DeKalb County.
Every decade, the state Legislature must redraw political district boundaries to match new U.S. Census numbers and population shifts. For the first time in living memory, the GOP has a majority in both the Georgia House and Senate during the redistricting so maps were chiefly the product of GOP members.
It will take at least a few days for the new districts to work their way through the Georgia Legislature. If they receive the same treatment as draft maps for the state House and Senate, passage under the GOP majority will essentially be a formality, with no edits to the maps.
Next, the maps must be sent to Washington, DC for approval by federal officials. Georgia, like most of the South and other areas with a history of disenfranchising minority voters, must prove to the federal government that the new maps will not dilute minority voting power.
If the maps are found unfair, a federal judge can impose interim borders until the Legislature draws an improved plan. Otherwise, the maps will be in place for the 2012 election cycle.
- Patch Editors Hunt Archbold and Wendy Parker contributed to this story.