Saturday, June 18, 2011

NC Redistricting -- Stormy meeting. One Democrat 'livid'. Is that cool or what?

Verne Strickland Blogmaster    June 18, 2011


The joint House and Senate Redistricting Committee met this morning to discuss the next steps for the 2011 redistricting process.  The meeting was contentious at times with Democrats concerned about being excluded from the process.  During the meeting the committee leadership provided a rough outline of what we can expect over the next several weeks.
  • June 20 — release of draft maps only for those districts impacted by the Voting Rights Act
  • June 23 — public hearing to discuss the draft VRA maps
  • July 1 — release draft maps for House, Senate and Congress
  • July 7 — public hearing to discuss draft maps
  • July 13-15 — redistricting committees meet to review and debate the proposed maps
  • July 17-21 — House and Senate convene special session to take up and pass the redistricting plans
As of now, it seems likely that the General Assembly will have new maps approved by the end of July.  After that, they will have to be submitted to the Department of Justice of DC District Court for federal preclearance because of the Voting Rights Act.



By Pat Gannon June 17th, 2011 06:25pm
State Rep. Susi Hamilton isn’t happy with the first draft of proposed legislative districts released Friday by Republicans in charge of the once-a-decade redistricting process.

State lawmakers on Friday released a draft of a number of state Senate and state House districts, an early step in the once-a-decade process of redrawing state and federal legislative districts based on population shifts identified by the U.S. Census.

Hamilton, a Wilmington Democrat, said late Friday that her new district would include the downtown Wilmington area, along with largely African-American sections of Brunswick, Columbus and Bladen counties. She currently represents only parts of New Hanover and lives in downtown Wilmington.

“They took the most urban area east of I-95 and absorbed it into the most rural portion of Southeastern North Carolina,” Hamilton said of the proposed House District 20.

Hamilton’s current district, District 18, isn’t a majority-minority district.

Lawmakers on Friday released a draft of House and Senate districts to meet the restrictions of federal voting rights laws. These districts historically have been designed to allow minority voters the chance to elect candidates of their choice.

The Republican chairs of the General Assembly’s redistricting committees released a statement, saying testimony during a recent redistricting public hearing in New Hanover County indicated that the minority community there supported the creation of a new majority-black House district.

Meanwhile, House District 21 would include parts of western and northern Pender County, as well as parts of Sampson and Wayne counties.

On the Senate side, all of Columbus County would be taken out of Sen. Bill Rabon’s district and merged with Robeson County to create Senate District 13.

Another public hearing on Voting Rights Act districts will be held from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday (June 23) at several locations across the state, including the University of North Carolina Wilmington. The meeting will be held in Room 266 of the Education Building at UNCW, 601 S. College Road.

To view the first draft of the plans, go to and click on the “redistricting” tab near the top of the page, then look under “Plans and Information for 2011.”

For the Senate map, go here. For the House map, go here.
The new maps will take effect in 2012.