NAACP shares concerns over possible governance change in Madison

WAFF's Megan Plotka reporting
Published: May. 3, 2023 at 8:20 AM CDT
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MADISON, Ala. (WAFF) - The NAACP is weighing in on the City of Madison’s upcoming special election to change the city’s style of governance. Some leaders want to change the city’s current mayor-council type of government to a mayor-council-city manager governance.

This structure would bring on an appointed city manager to take on some of the mayor’s duties. The mayor would then be able to vote in council meetings. The city would eliminate one district, so the total number of votes would still equal seven.

NAACP leaders will address their concerns at a press conference on Wednesday morning. They say this plan negatively impacts the representation of people of color in Madison. NAACP of Alabama President Bernard Simelton says there is already a problem with diversity on the council.

“Madison is a growing city,” Simelton said. “The Black population is about 14% and with the other minorities there, it’s about 20% and they do not have an African American on the city council.”

WAFF's Megan Plotka reporting

He said the mayor-council-city manager governance would exacerbate this problem by removing one city council position.

“With one less city council district, it would probably reduce their chances of having their voices heard unless the city has overall has a redistricting plan that would include a majority-minority district,” Simelton said.

The city is set to use the same firm to help with redistricting as they have in previous years. They won’t redistrict until after the special election on May 9.

The NAACP press conference is happening at 10 a.m. on May 3 at Home Place Park, 100 Shorter St.

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