ALBANY, Ga. -- With the reapportionment process winding down in Georgia, there are remaining questions about how shifting populations could impact the new districts, including the Albany region.
The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce is providing an opportunity to get answers to those questions from State Rep. Ed Rynders, R-Leesburg.
Rynders will speak at the Chamber's "Lunch with Leaders" series slated at noon Thursday at the Albany Welcome Center. The event is open to chamber members, though space is limited.
"Reapportionment will be a challenge for south Georgia because it has not grown as rapidly as other parts of the state," said Rynders. "I am convinced, at the end of the day, the maps that will be drawn will be reasonable, fair and will meet the legal requirements set by the (U.S.) Justice Department."
"I am looking forward to hearing everyone's concerns before going back to Atlanta."
Rynders will join legislators from across the state on Aug. 15 at a called session at the Capitol to begin the task of redrawing the state's various legislative districts to account for population shifts during the past decade.
According to numbers from the 2010 Census, Georgia grew by 18.3 percent during the past decade to a population of 9,687,653. That growth earned the state an additional congressional seat, increasing Georgia's House delegation from 13 to 14 members. In Dougherty County, however, population figures showed a decline during the same time period, from just more than 96,000 in 2000 to around 94,500 in 2010.
"People are very concerned what the new Dougherty County area will not only look like, but what the impact will be down the road," said Deborah Bowie, senior sirector of Public Policy and Communications at the Chamber.
"We look forward to working with Rep. Rynders and our entire legislative delegation throughout this special session and during the regular session to make sure that Southwest Georgia is afforded every opportunity to help our region grow and prosper."