A glimmer of hope in the push for fair voting maps

Speaking at the People’s Hearing on Fair Redistricting at the NC General Assembly on June 5  was a great experience. While I may have been one of the few participants at the hearing who had conservative leanings, I felt the principles involved should be shared by all Americans.

In speaking against something that has hindered our great democracy, I wanted to express that the bottom line is gerrymandering has to end. The problem of partisan redistricting is something that both parties should be able to agree on. This issue should matter to both Democrats and Republicans equally.

This summer, I have found it extremely encouraging that House Bill 200 has broad bipartisan support. The bill is sponsored by members of both parties.

Many people believe that politics is extremely polarized and unproductive. So it is inspiring to have House Bill 200 as an exceptional example of how politicians from opposing viewpoints can work together to support and advance important bills.

While we work to move HB200 to the House floor, it is clear that the support is present amongst many members of the legislature.

Many citizens may not picture the General Assembly as a place of civility. However, it has been my experience that civility and compromise are at times creeping back into politics. House Bill 200 is a great example that compromise is truly possible within the political realm.

With support from key members of the Republican caucus, I remain optimistic in the legislative efforts to get HB200 a simple up-or-down vote. It is paramount that we continue to urge Speaker Moore to bring this bill to the House floor.

Carl Gilmore is a student at Hampden-Sydney College and a summer 2017 intern with Common Cause NC.

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