The Prince George’s County Council, during Council session on Tuesday, January 25, 2011, approved CR-2-2011, appointing Sharon R. Taylor as Chair of the Prince George’s County Redistricting Commission.
Ms. Taylor is a seasoned communications professional with extensive experience in business and government. She organized a panel of experts for the Prince George’s County African-American Democratic Club Conference in 2009, on the Census and Redistricting, to discuss and illuminate the political and community resource allocation process triggered by the Census. She has published articles on the Census and the apportionment and redistricting processes, which have been reviewed nationally. Ms. Taylor, who has appeared on NPR and other national and local radio, was recently appointed Director of Communications and Public Affairs in the Office of the Sheriff.
The Council also appointed former Council Member and Maryland State Senator David C. Harrington and Tamara Davis-Brown, Esq. as commissioners charged with reestablishing the boundaries of the nine County Council Districts.
Section 305 of the Prince George’s County Charter establishes the redistricting process by stating:
The Council shall appoint, not later than February 1 of the year prior to the year in which redistricting is to be effective, a commission on redistricting, composed of two members from each political party chosen from a list of five names submitted by the Central Committee of each political party which polled at least fifteen percent of the total vote cast for all candidates for the Council in the immediately preceding regular election.
This year in Prince George’s County, only the Democratic Party met the 15-percent threshold required by the Charter. Council Chair Ingrid M. Turner (D) – District 4 says the Council will encourage the Redistricting Commission to hold several public work sessions, meetings and hearings so the voices of all political parties may be heard. “The Council believes that a variety of viewpoints and dialogue is important on this issue. We are therefore encouraging public input and participation in this critical process.”
The Commission is charged with preparing, publishing, and making available, a plan of Council district boundaries and present that plan, together with a report explaining it, to the Council. Upon receipt of the plan in September, the Council will schedule a public hearing to discuss the plan of the Redistricting Commission.