Tennesseans protest Republican-drawn congressional maps on MLK Day

Odessa Kelly, Democratic candidate for Congress in District 5, speaks Monday in Nashville at a protest of new congressional district maps. / Photo by John Partipilo/Tennessee Lookout

Concerns over COVID-19 and lingering snow from a weekend storm halted several Middle Tennessee events traditionally held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to honor the late civil rights leader, but more than 100 people turned out in Nashville to protest new Republican-drawn congressional and legislative district maps.

The Nashville Justice League - comprised of The Equity Alliance, the Central Labor Council of Middle Tennessee and others - sponsored "Fight Back, Stop These Maps!" at the Tennessee Capitol.

On Jan. 12, legislative leaders unveiled maps of new Tennessee congressional districts that showed Nashville's 5th District will be carved into three parts. In a statement, the Nashville Justice League said: "It is clear that with the maps presented the goal is to dilute the minority voting and political power in Davidson County specifically.