Today, Dec. 8, at local bookstore Malaprops, Jane Pinsky (center) of the N.C. Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform recognized Rep. Ray Rapp (center right) and several other Western North Carolina legislators who support redistricting reform.
Other legislators were Rep. Sue Fisher and Rep. Patsy Keever of Buncombe County, who could not be present (Bruce Mulkey, far left, represented Keever at the ceremony), Rep. Chuck McGrady of Henderson County (far right), Rep. David Guice of Transylvania County (not pictured), and Rep. Mitch Gillespie of McDowell County (not present). Rapp was one of the sponsors of a House bill that aims to reform the redistricting process. Another primary sponsor was Rep. Rick Glazier of Cumberland County (far left). Asheville resident Rep. Fisher was a cosponsor.
(photos by Max Cooper)
FROM THE N.C. Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform (full release)
Redistricting, it is one of the most contentious issues facing North Carolina.
Yet earlier this year, six Western North Carolina members of the North Carolina State House of Representatives, Republicans and Democrats, came together to support Redistricting Reform.
These legislators will be recognized with a certificate of appreciation by the North Carolina Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform.
The honorees are: Rep. Sue Fisher and Rep. Patsy Keever of Buncombe County, Rep. Chuck McGrady of Henderson County, Rep. David Guice of Transylvania County, Rep. Ray Rapp of Madison County and Rep. Mitch Gillespie of McDowell County.
House Bill 824, which these lawmakers supported, would end the practice of lawmakers drawing their own districts. Rep. Ray Rapp was one of the four primary sponsors of the bill. Rep. Susan Fisher was one of the co-sponsors of the legislation. The bill passed the State House last May and is now pending in the State Senate.
H824 passed the state House by an 88-27 margin with support from both the Democratic and Republican House leadership. The bill is now eligible for consideration in the State Senate in the 2012 legislative session.
H824 proposes a redistricting process modeled after Iowa- which removes legislators from drawing their own districts and assigning the task instead to a non partisan professional staff.
North Carolina is one of the national leaders in redistricting lawsuits.
The North Carolina Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform is a bi-partisan coalition with a six year history of "good government" reform advocacy. The Coalition was one of leading voices for passage of the state's most comprehensive lobbying and ethics reform legislation adopted in 2007.