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Georgia's Good Count Means More Clout in Washington:

December 29, 2000

    " The participation of the African American community in the Census should not be forgotten as new power is doled out," McKinney warned.
Because of Georgia's phenomenal growth, Georgia's Congressional Delegation will grow by an additional two Members in the United States House of Representatives. "The added representation means additional clout for the residents of our State: more money from Washington to local communities; more votes to press our interests in Congress; and more attention in presidential election campaigns," said Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-4th). "Our growth will also save us from the painful process of downsizing our Congressional delegation, as many states will now have to do," she added.

"We worked very hard with the Census Bureau to achieve a good count and it appears that we succeeded. The cooperation of the people of Georgia with the Census Bureau is to be commended. However, the boost given our efforts by the participation of the African American community, in returning census forms, should not be forgotten as new power in our State is doled out," McKinney warned.

Because of the debacle of black voting rights for which Florida's Presidential election has become known, blacks will pay particular attention to the treatment of their votes in next year's redistricting, predicts McKinney. "2001 will not be a sleeper year for blacks and their voting rights. We all watched Florida in horror and now know that our right to vote and to have our votes count is not to be taken for granted-- anywhere," McKinney said.

. The Census Bureau released figures yesterday that will require the states to reapportion Congress and redistrict legislatures, county commissions, city councils, and school boards based on the new population figures. The principle of "one person one vote" requires that every governing authority elected from districts be redistricted so that each district of each governing authority has an equal amount of population based on the latest population figures.

There is still some controversy as to whether modern scientific methods will be used in the census process. In March, the Census Bureau will release the Census 2000 Redistricting Data Summary File. It will contain the actual data on which redistricting is based. This report will contain both head count data, and data adjusted for overcounts and undercounts. Allowing scientists within the Census Bureau to decide which data set forms a more accurate basis for redistricting, rather than leaving this decision to political appointees, gives redistricting authorities the best chance to achieve fairness for all Americans.

    Cynthia McKinney
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