Census 2020 Data Has Arrived. Monkey-business poised to begin!

Redistricting, map-drawing, and gerrymandering today? Census 2020 data finally arrived…very late, but earlier than expected. In a raw format, the data is being reconfigured to use in map-drawing software.

The 35-member N.C. General Assembly’s joint House/Senate Redistricting Committee has been holding meetings and making plans for the process they intend to follow and the criteria by which they’ll abide. Their timeline calls for new district lines – for U.S. House of Representatives, and both N.C. House and Senate (184 seats of power) – to be complete by November so as not to infringe on candidate filing (officially registering to appear on ballot) for the March 2022 Primary Elections.

An early Committee promise was to hold a public hearing – BEFORE the criteria and process began. And they did – on August 10.

Most comments were related to technical matters – public hearing schedule, communities-of-interest, keeping counties intact. Several speakers expressed passionate concern that democracy cannot function if our election maps are gerrymandered. My request was that they thwart an urge to do that, instead uphold their title of ‘honorables’ by assuring that all elections for the next decade be competitive. Seems fair and honest, does it not?

My short presentation is here:

Will the Redistricting Committee listen?

Well…they’re off to a rocky start. Their next committee meeting saw the GOP majority deny all but one Democrat-suggested criteria amendment. That was followed with a proposed public hearing plan for only 10 locations (Caldwell, Durham, Forsyth, Jackson, Mecklenburg, Nash, New Hanover, Pasquotank, Pitt and Robeson) – leaving large parts of the state without local in-person speaking opportunities. And…to date, there is no mention of remote options. One wonders if they really welcome public input!

Your voice is important. You can share your feelings with the Redistricting Committee online here. Or, how about speaking to them in person? Dates have yet to be published for in-person testimony, but you can prepare and strengthen your comments at any of these 5 Tuesday workshops. If you’d feel more comfortable with one-on-one conversation/coaching, sign up to chat with Bri Brough here.

As well, there may be only one public hearing in Raleigh after draft maps have been released! This in a state of 10.5 million people where the maps they create will be in effect for the next decade! Until 2030!!!!

If you live in Mecklenburg County, know that the County Board of Commissioners and School Board – and the City of Charlotte – have published their own criteria and plans to redistrict. So far, their efforts seem above board and ethical…but like the state legislature, there seems but scant interest in public comments.

If all this seems sketchy – that elected politicians and political parties are picking their voters instead of the voters picking their representatives – you’ve hit the nail dead center.

Where does it all lead? Let’s see what that orange creep GerryMander is up to –

Don’t let that happen! Stand up, speak out, listen, pay attention…and please get involved with us at Flush GerryMander. Never forget that we have a constitutional right to pick those who speak and vote in our behalf! Let’s flush Gerry Mander together!