Let me go local for a little bit. I live in Hamilton Co., Tennessee. That’s the county that contains Chattanooga. My county commission is in the process of redistricting due to changes in population as reflected by the 2000 census. It seems that a choice is going to have to be made by the democrats on the commission. Either they can have a commission that reflects a 4/5 split between possibly black and definately white democrats and definately white republicans or they can have a county commission that reflects a 2/7 split between definately black democrats and definately white republicans.
The democrats have been accussing the republicans of gerrymandering the districts but what it boils down to is that Hamilton County is becoming a republican stronghold more and more each year. In order to maintain anything more than a very weak representation of democrats on the commission some very strange looking district lines are going to have to be drawn. Drawing these lines to maintain four Democratic districts will probably reduce minority representation on the commission.