Gulfport City Council votes to accept 2022 redistricting map

Almost at full capacity, Gulfport community leaders and residents packed city hall to hear from city council on their decision to redistrict the city.

City hall erupts in applause after a unanimous vote by Gulfport City Council to approve the 2022 redistricting map. Gulfport NAACP President Gary Fredricks said, “This is a moment in which we are excited about an opportunity. This is what our ancestors fought for.”

Fredricks tells News 25 today’s vote was a victory. “This is what the NAACP stands for, equality, making sure that you have fairness in the electoral process.”

The 2022 redistricting map is a reflection of the 2020 census. Eight map plans were drafted. Ward 4 Councilman F.B. ‘Rusty’ Walker said, “At our last hearing, we had two more community maps which we officially accepted as community maps seven and eight.”

According to map 6’s plan, Ward 6 Councilman Robert Flowers feels his ward would be affected the most and says his ward becomes too spread out. “Orange Grove deserves to have representation that every community has.”

However, Ward 3 Councilwoman Ella Holmes-Hines feels map 6 is a fair compromise, allowing city council members to continue to serve the districts they live in. “We are so grateful for this opportunity because we have done a process, a due process.”

Gulfport Community Leader Bobby Hudson III said, “We were able to compromise, really for the better of the city, getting all of our wards to work together to produce a map and a plan that would be best and ideal for all of us.”

Now that redistricting is approved, there’s only one other thing to do. “Hope that we get more people out to vote and that way representation can really be showed and reflected.”

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