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Call to Action on Redistricting Reform

November 13, 2019

The legislature is drawing new Congressional maps for 2020 right now and they need to hear from us!

The legislature is taking one more shot at drawing constitutional Congressional districts this decade. We expect them to vote a new map out of committee in the next few days.

Why are they drawing a new map now? Because a panel of North Carolina judges issued a preliminary injunction saying the current Congressional map cannot be used in 2020 (this is the same map found unconstitutional in last spring’s federal case, LWV/Common Cause v Lewis).

Of course, we must have a Congressional map for next year’s election. and soon – candidate filing should start December 2. So the legislature is rushing to redraw the entire Congressional map, from Murphy to Manteo. Teams of legislators and staff worked on the maps all last week, but only maps drawn by Democrats have been posted so far.

We need to tell them that we, the voters, want these new maps to be fair.

There are five ways to make comments (see talking points below):

  1. Comment in person. Come to the legislature (Room 544 in the Legislative Office Building on Salisbury) this Wednesday, November 13, at 10:00 (check before you come; last-minute changes are always possible). Come early if you want to read personal comments, which will probably be limited to two minutes. We expect them to wrap up no later than noon.

  2. Come as an observer. Even if you don’t want to make comments, you can still send an important message by being in the committee room to show that citizens are watching.

  3. Comment online. The online portal is open for comments now; make them here.

  4. Write to your legislator or to committee chairs/members.  You can find the committee members here.  Click on their names for full addresses. For greatest impact, make it personal with a handwritten note.

  5. Engage on social media. Tweet, Instagram, or post on Facebook using the hashtags #fairmaps, #NCGA, and #ncpol. The co-chairs are:  @RepDavidRLewis, @RalphHise, and @DestinHall. There are no Democratic co-chairs.

Thanks for helping us to get fair districts! 

Talking Points:

  1. Thank them for adopting criteria excluding partisan considerations and past election results, requiring improved compactness, minimizing split counties and precincts (VTDs), and running a more transparent process than has been the case in the past.

  2. If you watched the redrawing online or read about it, thank them for putting it all online and let them know what you thought of the process.

  3. Ask why only Democratic-drawn maps have been posted so far (Republican maps, drawn by Rep. Lewis, Sen. Hise, and others, can be seen only by searching the YouTube videos of each session, which you can find online here).

  4. Tell them you noticed that some of these districts look very similar to problem districts from the current map, such as NC09, just won by Dan Bishop, which runs from Mecklenburg to Robeson.

  5. Tell them that we need a process that will produce constitutional maps the first time and give citizens real input into the process. We want redistricting reform that will prevent gerrymandering, keep communities whole, and give citizens a voice in how their districts are drawn. We need a citizens’ commission that draws the maps and, ideally, approves them – voters not politicians should draw our districts.