published Friday, January 6th, 2012

Chattanooga Rep. Tommie Brown plans forum on new districts

NASHVILLE -- Rep. Tommie Brown, D-Chattanooga, will hold a public forum Saturday in Chattanooga "for the purpose of reviewing the proposed redistricting plan" that affects the House District 28 she represents.

Brown said she has obtained detailed precinct-level information about the Republican-drawn plan, which moved Wednesday through a House "ad hoc" panel comprising GOP members and later through the House State and Local Government Subcommittee.

The GOP plan merges portions of fellow Chattanooga Democratic Rep. JoAnne Favors' 29th Legislative District with Brown's 28th District. Both lawmakers are black, and Republicans say the move is necessary to meet federal Voting Rights Act protections for districts such as Brown's where there are majorities of black voters.

Favors's district does not have a majority of black voters, and Republicans plan to shift many of the black voters who are there to Brown's district.

Brown's meeting is from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Chattanooga Housing Authority's multipurpose room at 801 Holtzclaw Ave.

Participants also will discuss plans for Brown's upcoming 28th District Assembly where residents voice opinions on legislative issues.

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