Chairman Chism, Democratic Shelby County Commissioners and SCDP Executive Committee:
Today at 1:30 p.m., you will once again attempt to resolve the redistricting plan for the Shelby County Commission. I have attached two emails from one of your Republican Colleagues, Chris Thomas, to the Suburban Chambers of Commerce and Suburban Mayors. In these emails, Thomas is supporting the 3 member districts which exist now as the best thing for Republicans. I can only assume that the key reason he supports this plan is because he sees and anticipates a power grab in 2014, and it could happen if you allow it.
We all know that Commissioner Mulroy's District, District 5, is the swing district which could go either way. If the Republicans really go after this district with a well-funded moderate Republican, we could be facing a 7-6 Republican majority County Commission. Why would we allow this to happen when the Republicans at the state level and throughout this nation will strengthen their positions for the next 10 years during their redistricting process? Why would we even consider anything which would cripple or weaken us in the future?
Again, this is why the single-member district plan is the best plan for Democrats. With this plan, we are assured of a majority Democratic-controlled County Commission, and we should take advantage of this opportunity. Apparently, you have the two Republican votes which are needed (Roland and Ritz) for something other than the 3 member plan. Please reconsider your support of a plan which we know will better position Republicans and which would likely hurt Democrats in the future.
Van Turner, Chair
Shelby County Democratic Party