July 8, 2015
Contact: Bryan Warner, Common Cause NC, 919-836-0027 or
Over 200 municipal leaders across NC call for an end to gerrymandering
RALEIGH - Over 200 municipal elected officials from across North Carolina have joined the movement to reform our state's redistricting process. The effort, spearheaded by former mayors Richard Vinroot of Charlotte and Charles Meeker of Raleigh, calls on North Carolina to adopt a nonpartisan redistricting process for the future.
In all, 226 municipal leaders representing 120 different municipalities have joined Vinroot and Meeker to encourage lawmakers in the General Assembly to enact a fair and impartial redistricting reform model.
In addition to the local officials supporting redistricting reform, 63 members of the N.C. House have sponsored House Bill 92 -- a proposal that would take the power of drawing congressional and legislative voting maps out of the hands of partisan lawmakers and give it to nonpartisan legislative staff, beginning with the next round of redistricting in 2021.
"We continue to be impressed by the outpouring of support from leaders of both parties across the state," said former Charlotte Mayor Richard Vinroot. "In light of recent legislation redistricting the Greensboro City Council, it's become even more clear that we need a more neutral, transparent process for redrawing district lines at the local, state and federal level."
"Municipal leaders have a unique understanding of the impact gerrymandering can have on local communities," former Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said. "The more than 225 municipal officials who have signed on to this effort is yet another clear example of the growing movement to take politics out of our redistricting process and ensure every voter has a voice on Election Day."
North Carolina's current redistricting process ensures that whichever party is in control of the legislature can draw new districts to favor their party, which reduces competition and leads to greater political polarization. Recently, the General Assembly passed a bill that will eliminate the Greensboro City Council's at-large districts and redraw district maps to create eight new districts.
"The legislative process we saw with the Greensboro City Council bill is a stark reminder of why we need to reform the process," said Bob Phillips, executive director of the nonpartisan Common Cause North Carolina. "The Greensboro plan was created behind closed doors with no public input. Under an impartial reform plan, citizens will have an opportunity for robust public input during a transparent process. Process matters, which is why it is time to finally pass nonpartisan redistricting reform legislation."
More information on the redistricting reform effort in North Carolina is available at EndGerrymanderingNow.org
Common Cause North Carolina is a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging citizen participation in our democracy.