Redistricting reform is everyone’s concern

I would like to thank the Mountain Xpress for covering the recent bipartisan redistricting reform rally in downtown Asheville [“Coming Together,Aug. 7]. Though redistricting reform might not get as much media coverage as some of the more “hot button” issues, redistricting reform really is an issue that could bring us all together, regardless of party affiliation.

In today’s divisive political environment, it is refreshing to see legislators working together across the aisle to advocate for good government reforms, such as the creation of an independent, nonpartisan redistricting commission in the state of North Carolina.

The League of Women Voters applauds N.C. House Reps. Susan Fisher (Democrat, District 114), Nathan Ramsey (Republican, District 115), and Chuck McGrady (Republican, District 117) for their leadership on this important issue. In 2011, a redistricting reform bill passed the N.C. House with overwhelming bipartisan support, but the bill ultimately died in the N.C. Senate Rules Committee.

As such, the League urges Buncombe County’s state Sens. Tom Apodaca (Republican, District 48) and Martin Nesbitt (Democrat, District 49) to follow these state house representatives’ lead and work together to advocate for the passage of redistricting reform in the North Carolina Senate.

North Carolina’s current and longstanding redistricting process allows our legislators to handpick their voters and draw the lines of the very districts they represent. It’s time to take redistricting power away from politicians and give it to a nonpartisan, independent body that will draw lines based on strict criteria.

The League praises Reps. Fisher, Ramsey and McGrady for recognizing that voters should get to choose their elected officials, not the other way around!

— Karen Oelschlaeger
League of Women Voters
Asheville

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