The Fannie Lou Hamer Political Action Committee, which has made a name for itself by using forceful language to attack redistricting maps they disagree with, took Prince George’s County Delegation Chairwoman Melony Griffith for holding an emergency closed-door meeting to discuss the Governor’s Redistricting Advisory Committee’s map.
Read their full statement below:
To Whom It May Concern,On tonight, Monday, December 19, 2011, the Prince George’s County House Delegation held a meeting on legislative redistricting at the Prince George’s County Administration Building. This meeting was called by the Delegation Chair, Melony Griffith, Democrat 25th Legislative District. The purpose of this meeting was to critique the Governor’s Redistricting Advisory Committee’s Legislative Redistricting proposal for the 47 Districts in the State of Maryland. The invited speaker was Joseph Bryce, the Legislative Director for Governor Martin O’Malley and the key staffer to the Governor’s Redistricting Advisory Committee.The Maryland Open Meeting Laws states that when the House Delegation Members meet to conduct public business, those meetings are to be publicized and open to the public. (http://sunshinereview.org/index.php/Maryland_Public_Information_Act)Delegation Chair, Melony Griffith, decided to hold this meeting as a “closed door meeting.” This is a clear violation of the laws that they are elected to uphold. It is my understanding that the topic of redistricting is an ineligible criteria for executive session meetings. All of the Governor’s redistricting advisory committee meetings were open to the public and had transcripts produced to demonstrate a legal history of the meetings and work products. If I am incorrect and this meeting was legal then I find it to be clearly unethical.Dennis Serrette, the President of the Barnaby Manor Civic Association, attempted to enter the meeting. Mr. Serrette stated that he was stopped by the police and was told that this meeting was closed to the public and only for Delegates. Mr. Serrette stated that there were 10 police officers standing guard to block the doors and public access to the meetings.It is my understanding that Senator Mike Miller informed Delegate Melony Griffith that this had to be a closed door meeting to allow Delegates that were being redrawn out of their districts an opportunity to present their grievance. Incumbency protection of elected officials is the only concern for Senator Miller and Delegate Griffith.Anytime an African American Women instructs African American County police officers to prevent the Black community from being informed on redistricting is DISGRACEFUL. Especially if this action is coming under the direction of a White man, Senator Mike Miller.I know that you are tired of hearing this but this is just another example of ‘Negro Intellectual Castration.” Or since we are speaking of a Black Women..I will call it “Negress Intellectual Abuse.” I hope that I am wrong and am falsely accusing Delegate Melony Griffith. If I am wrong then I publicly apologize. If I am right, then Delegate Melony Griffith owes the Black Community an apology for instructing a Black man with a gun to prevent another Black Man from exercising his Public Rights…Yours in the struggle,
Fannie Lou Hamer – Political Action Committee“Ensuring A Fair and Responsive Redistricting Process”P.O. Box 2302 * Upper Marlboro, MD 20773