Wake redistricting comments

More Redistricting,

Senate Bill 181 sponsor, Sen Barefoot: most Wake residents live outside Raleigh…bill introduces more representation on the board… changes at large process to assure geographic representation… uses Wake school districts which have been upheld by the courts… districts set when county had 300,000 people, now have 1million. Nothing local about representing 1 million people… time to increase representation for all citizens of Wake.

Staff: bill would go into effect Dec 2015 for the 2016 election… You can find the bill itself here: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/BillLookUp/BillLookUp.pl?Session=2015&BillID=sb+181&submitButt...

Francis: grew up on a farm now lives in Raleigh… many in Wake have a different, non-city experience…my experience is that everybody needs a voice…rural property owners, some with 100s of acres of farm land need a voice on the commission, need a voice in property tax, one size fits all does not work…bill will give direct representation to all regions of the county.

JT: born eastern Wake, lived here 88 years…for 12 years was Wake Commissioner… truly believe Wake is garden spot of the world…this bill will keep it that way… bill would give power back to its citizens… gives each county commissioner direct responsibility for a part of the county….

David: eastern Wake resident… supports the bill as it would be a better process… allows more accountability…Wake very diverse…800 sq acres..big differences between Wendell and Morrisville… eastern Wake needs more representation…

Rachel: eastern Wake resident…favors the bill…12 municipalities in Wake county have also experience growth and change… have been successful in maintaining their identity… the bill is practically a no-brainer…

James West, Chair of Bd of Commissioners: Just learned about this bill last evening… complex problems deserve complex solutions… this bill needs more discussion and consideration, not all the info is currently available, need a participatory process… the top down approach does not work on this…we could improve the districts we now have… we need more info, we have good govt in Wake… need to look at the county as a whole…

Greg Flynn (the Great!): I applaud your new found interesting in disenfranchised voters… it's sad when we have to go to court to stop you all from messing with our school districts.. now you don't like the results of the last elections so you want to re-district… I have a receipt from my daughter's teacher for $139.00 for copying because you all won't provide enough $ for textbooks… the new commissioners just got elected so let them do their jobs…. don't waste my tax dollars playing partisan games.

Sig Hutchinson, Commissioner: against this bill… we have same goals of representing the people… if you are concerned about diversity on the bodies making these decisions… Wake Commissioners have diversity in age, income, gender, color…. representing all of Wake county…. if you are concerned about the 1 million people then "This is a solution looking for a problem."

John Burns, elected last Nov as Commissioner, got votes from all over Wake. I oppose this bill because it is unneeded… we work with business community, rural-urban, transit services…. working to make our govt more responsive… not 1 reason given for this bill is accurate… we must live in our district…. I ask you to allow the people of Wake to continue to govern themselves. I found out about this meeting on my way to a Davidson basketball game in Charlotte when I heard about this bill and I turned around to come back here to speak.

Matt Calabria, commissioner from Holly Springs, Garner: opposed to bill as it gerrymanders for political purposes… process has been rushed… doesn't achieve the goals it claims to achieve…. size of district does not correlate to amount of money it takes to run… has been no demonstrable problem… this is astroturf…

The committee will meet again next Tuesday. Some public comment will be allowed.. 3-5pm.




WRAL's story on this is entitled "GOP bill to redraw Wake commissioners boundaries rankles Dems"


It's not an accident, Stein said, that Republicans were introducing a bill to redraw county commissioner districts mere months after Democrats took control of all seven seats on the board.

Barefoot says he consulted with other members of the Wake County delegation, but Stein said Barefoot's bill took him by surprise.

As for aligning county commissioner seats with school board districts, Stein said, "They drew those school board districts for maximum party gerrymandering."

Wake County was one of the few bright spots for North Carolina Democrats during fall elections. Victories in the effectively at-large county commissioner races contrasted with close losses in legislative campaigns run in districts redrawn by Republican majorities in 2011.

"They don't like the choice that Wake County voters made in the last election, so they're going to disregard them by redrawing the districts," Stein said. "I'm pretty upset because the voters of Wake County are being disrespected."

Anyone who boils down voting rights, civil rights, and equal rights struggles to Republicans vs Democrats where there is no right or wrong, only left vs right, is really doing a disservice to their readers. The story had some meat to it which is good, but with titles like that it sets a tone of this is just GOP vs Dems again.

WRAL again

Another WRAL story notes the surprise nature of the hearing on this partisan gerrymandering bill.

Members of the public got their first say Thursday about a bill that would redraw Wake County's Board of Commissioners districts, if they found out about a Senate Redistricting Committee meeting in time.


Opponents of the measure, including members of the current Board of Commissioners, focused as much on process as substance Thursday. They said both the bill and the committee hearing were sprung on them with little warning.


The bill came as a surprise especially because West and other county officials met with Wake County's legislative delegation earlier this week, according to Commissioner John Burns.

And as for Thursday's hearing, Burns told the committee neither commissioners nor other opponents had much advance notice.

Of course, some people did get advance notice of the hearing. Using the same tactics they use for other "surprise" bills, such as last year's motorcycle vagina law, the GOP does make sure that friends and family get alerts.

Some of those who spoke apparently did get a somewhat earlier heads up.

"I knew last night after a supporter called me," said Frances George, an early backer of the bill, when asked when she found out about the public hearing.

Asked if supporters of the bill got early notice of the hearing while potential opponents did not, Barefoot said, "I'm not in charge of the committee."

Perhaps the most telling sign of bad legislation is that, for it to pass, you have to try to sneak it through. Chad's bill (and Trudy Wade's similar election stealing bill for Greensboro) is nothing but a partisan attempt to tilt the playing field, and it's disgusting.

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Whoomp there it is!

Like most partisan gerrymandering bills, the real aim is to concentrate "the other side" into the fewest districts possible. Just like at the state level, Chad's bill would punish Democrats who had the nerve to win fair elections.

Sen. Chad Barefoot’s controversial plan to change how Wake County elects commissioners would put three Democratic incumbents in the same race if they all seek reelection in 2018.

More partisan gerrymandering, pure and simple. Indefensible.

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014