Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer held a press conference Thursday, May 11, to highlight House Bill 200, which seeks to end gerrymandering on a statewide level. Asheville residents affiliated with Common Cause NC, a nonprofit organization based out of Raleigh, also spoke against gerrymandering within congressional districts and the need to support the proposed legislation.
“Indeed, policies are still in place actively working against the formation of new communities — zoning rules that forbid local shops that could serve as neighborhood hubs, lot size restrictions that might work for the suburbs, but which result in a farcically low population density in a city; a lack of sidewalks that means you may have to take your life in your hands just to go check up on a neighbor.”
‘[Gerrymandering] encourages a lack of cooperation and increases the partisan divide because incumbents have almost guaranteed their re-election based on partisan district lines. Millions of votes across the nation go unheard. Power is ripped away from the people and placed even more into the hands of politicians.”
North Carolina politics remains in the national spotlight: New York Times guest columnist Sam Wang analyzes “The Great Gerrymander of 2012” — and includes a look at the power of GOP redistricting in the state.