Redistricting: Towson, oh Towson, where are you?

By Rose Deane Kinder.

I am a long-time resident of Towson, and I come here tonight to speak in strong opposition to the Council district plan as produced by the Commission.

There are many here tonight to address the racial inequities of the proposed plan. I agree with them that our new council districts should have at least 2 black majority districts.

Further, I am vehemently against the proposed districts that include Towson.

Towson, oh Towson where are you?!

While incumbent gerrymandering is not illegal, it is odious to many residents of Towson as we have been and again are proposed to be a “wedged” councilmanic district from which to crack or pack residents.

The Redistricting Commission report on page 9 gives the best summary of this cracking and packing strategy for Towson –

“…the Commission decided to retain the Charles Street western border. However, due to population constraints in trying to unify Towson, the Commission moved the northern Towson border down from I-695 to Joppa Road so that District 3 now extends south of I-695. District 6, rather than ending at the Country Club of Maryland, is extended north to Joppa and West to Charles St.” 

That is council district gerrymandering – breaking up the Towson community to include areas that are far to the east. Why?

The district lines for a Towson inclusive district should begin initially at the “horizontal” city/county line at Charles Street (Route 139) and move north and east in equal parts to achieve a Towson centric district that includes the full downtown Towson area.  

What has been proposed for Towson stinks and I urge you to reject it. When you know better, you can do better.

Rose Kinder gave the above testimony at the Baltimore County Redistricting Public Hearing on October 26th, 2021.

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