September 30, 2021/Media, Press

What North Carolinians Are Saying: More Redistricting Public Forums Are Needed After Maps Are Released

Over the last few weeks, North Carolinians across the state have traveled to public forums for a once-in-a-decade redistricting process to make it clear that they want to see more public hearings and more transparency, leading to fair maps. But, don’t just take it from us, listen to the North Carolinians across the state who have taken the time to make their voices heard.

  • Alamance County Forum: “Though you may not be interested in what the public has to say, we are vitally interested in what you are doing because we know that what you do now will affect what we do for the next 10 years.” 
  • Durham County Forum: “I have a sister who does not vote. That breaks my heart. She does not vote because she doesn’t think it counts, she doesn’t think it’s worth it. This General Assembly, through its act of gerrymandering, has stolen the voice of the people. This is an attack on Democracy, plain and simple.” 
  • Alamance County Forum: “In 2019 a state court required you to do remedial maps in full public view. That is certainly something that means more than what you indicated you’re going to do. We want you to make your final decisions public, not do as you recently did with the criteria and the hearing schedule, where there was absolutely no discussion. It made us feel that you had already decided it behind closed doors and then came out with the criteria.” 
  • Pitt County Forum: “We’re tired of the millions of dollars of our tax dollars, our money, being spent on the cost of defending indefensible partisan gerrymandered maps…And lastly we’re tired that North Carolina has become the country’s poster child for partisan gerrymandering.” 

“North Carolinians know that historically maps have been drawn behind closed doors with consultants and they’re demanding something different,” said NCDP spokesperson Rachel Stein. “The Democratic Party stands in solidarity with those across the state calling for a more transparent process and additional public hearings after the maps are released.” 

Throughout the process, Republican legislators have put in very little effort to let the public know about the hearings. They also refused to utilize online resources like video conferencing or livestreaming to make participation easier for those who cannot attend meetings held during normal business hours and those with health concerns related to the ongoing pandemic.