Former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, fresh off a stint teaching at Harvard University, has been tapped to lead a campaign aimed at altering Florida's method of redistricting.
FairDistrictsFlorida.org, whose membership includes former Gov. Bob Graham and former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, is sponsoring a pair of legislative items to prohibit politicians from designing districts to favor themselves or their parties. The measures would also require that districts be compact and community based, and protect minority voting rights.
The campaign faces strong opposition from the Republican party, which argues the moves are calculated by Democrats to win back seats in the House and Senate. The public will vote the plan up or down Nov. 2.
Diaz, the campaign spokesperson, will help create campaign strategy and focus on fundraising. "Without these critical reforms, state politicians will continue to draw district lines that put their interests ahead of the people of Florida,'' said Diaz.
Diaz is a former Democrat who is currently not registered with either major party.
-- CHARLES RABIN