The following is a special update from All On The Line NC (Aug. 20, 2021):
On Wednesday, August 18, the Joint House and Senate Redistricting Committee proposed this unacceptable public hearing schedule:
Public hearings in just ten of 100 counties is a clear effort to eliminate voices. This is especially true for areas historically targeted for map manipulation, including Guilford and Cumberland Counties.
In past redistricting, Guilford suffered extreme racial and partisan gerrymandering, and Cumberland was split into two Congressional districts until public outcry averted the plan. Neither is slated for public hearings.
Additionally, the proposed hearings are restrictive in the following ways:
- They are spread out. Many people are not able to drive more than an hour each way to comment on redistricting.
- There are no virtual options for participating.
- There is no requirement for ADA compliance.
- There is no accommodation for language differences.
This is not an equitable process.
The Committee also has neglected to schedule hearings for after maps are drawn. Senate Chair Ralph Hise says it’s likely “as in the past” that any such hearings would be ONLY in Raleigh at the NCGA and online. In-person public hearings will take place only BEFORE maps are available to see.
Public input makes maps better. That’s why it’s critical that public hearings occur in accessible locations across the state, with virtual options, both before and after draft maps are released.
If you haven’t already done so, please make a public comment using the online portal and please email members of the redistricting committee to request accessible hearings in additional counties (if you live in a county with no scheduled hearing, be sure to include that!) You can use this document to help draft your comment/email.
Communities know where it makes sense to draw district lines. The Redistricting Committee should want that information to draw maps that work for the people of North Carolina. The districts that are drawn in the coming weeks will shape our democracy for the next decade. We deserve and demand a voice in that process.