Will Bond, the new chairman of the Democratic Party of Arkansas, is our guest on this week’s upcoming episode of Talk Business.
Bond said in the pre-taped interview that while computer glitches are holding up the ability to drill down into precinct-level data, preliminary results from the U.S. Census Bureau make it clear that it’s impossible to draw a Congressional District with a majority population of minorities.
"I haven’t been able to look at all of the specific proposals," Bond said. "There is no way to draw a ‘majority-minority’ Congressional District in Arkansas, if you just look at the numbers. There’s just no way to do it. And so, I think everybody realizes that. That’s not to take a position on the issue – it’s just a factual impossibility."
African-American lawmakers have highlighted that Arkansas is the only Southern state to not elect a black person to office in modern political history. Because other Southern states have higher percentages of African-Americans, "majority-minority" districts have been created.
Black legislators have expressed an interest in exploring the creation of a Congressional District capable of electing an African-American by combining vast parts of the Delta with parts of Pulaski and Jefferson counties to construct a potentially winnable seat.
In the most recent Census data, Arkansas’ total population of black citizens grew 7.4% during the last decade. By estimates, roughly 15.4% of the state’s citizenry is African-American.
Bond offers his perspective on criteria he’ll follow as Congressional redistricting takes place, including a look at "what makes regional sense" and "whose interests are aligned."
You can watch Bond’s full comments on the issue of redrawing Congressional lines in the video below. His full interview, which covers a number of additional political and legislative subjects, will air Sunday night at 10pm on Fox 16 and Monday night at 6pm on KUAR-FM 89.1.