FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 2, 2021
Sailor Jones, Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 919-260-5906
Hilary Harris Klein, Voting Rights Counsel, email@example.com, 919-794-4198 ext. 119
DURHAM, N.C. (August 2, 2021) — A coalition of North Carolina voting rights organizations are demanding an open process for drawing the state’s legislative and Congressional districts, outlined in a redistricting recommendations letter emailed to state legislators on Monday.
The redistricting process in many states has already begun, but not in North Carolina. The U.S. Census Bureau is scheduled to release block-level data, used in redistricting, in mid-August. In anticipation of this release, the letter’s authors — Common Cause NC, League of Women Voters of North Carolina, Democracy North Carolina, the North Carolina NAACP, Carolina Jews for Justice, Asociación de Dominicanos de Raleigh North Carolina (ADORA NC), NC Counts Coalition, Disability Rights NC, El Pueblo, and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice — sent their recommendations to House Speaker Tim Moore, Senate Leader Phil Berger and members of both the House and Senate redistricting committees. The comprehensive letter describes how North Carolina can ensure a fair, inclusive, timely, and transparent process this redistricting cycle.
The letter includes:
- A redistricting timeline that ensures informed and impactful public comment at every step of the process, including public comment solicited before and after draft maps are drawn;
- Recommendations for meaningful public comment opportunities, including in-person hearings throughout the state, with options for providing written public comment as well; and
- Increased transparency throughout the redistricting process through broadcasting public hearings and making all proposed maps fully accessible to the public.
The groups’ proposals for expanding North Carolinians’ access to the 2021 redistricting process come as many Republican state legislators return from the weekend’s American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Conference. ALEC is notorious for providing politicians with ready-made legislation designed to advance anti-voter policies.
In a joint statement, the groups said that making this year’s redistricting process transparent, participatory, and accessible to all North Carolinians should be lawmakers’ top priority.
“The districts drawn by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2021 will shape North Carolinians’ lives and communities for the next decade. Instead of traveling thousands of miles to adopt a national agenda meant to erode certain people’s political power, our state’s lawmakers should be seeking homegrown solutions from everyday North Carolinians. Our recommendations provide a blueprint for meaningful public input which will make our 2021 redistricting process fair, inclusive, timely, and transparent. Taking these steps will not only ensure North Carolina’s legislative and Congressional maps are the most inclusive and representative in history, but they could also set a generation-defining precedent for the rest of the country.”
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice, founded in 2007, partners with communities of color and economically disadvantaged communities in the South to defend and advance their political, social, and economic rights through the combination of legal advocacy, research, organizing and communications. Learn more at southerncoalition.org and follow our work on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Common Cause North Carolina is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.
El Pueblo is a nonprofit organization based in Raleigh, NC, specializing in leadership development for both youth and adults among Wake County’s growing Latinx community.
The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and discrimination.
Democracy North Carolina is a statewide nonpartisan organization that uses research, organizing, and advocacy to increase civic participation, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and remove systemic barriers to voting and serving in elected office. Learn more at democracync.org.
NC Counts Coalition is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization committed to building a healthy, just, and equitable North Carolina through cross-sector partnerships that advance systemic solutions for communities facing systemic barriers, including BIPOC communities, LGBTQ+, low wealth, immigrant, and other communities.
Carolina Jews for Justice is a grassroots network committed to creating a more just, fair, and compassionate North Carolina. We build relationships where people help each other because individuals have a profound responsibility for the well-being of the whole.
The NC Justice Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, working on issues of concern to North Carolinians with low incomes.
Disability Rights North Carolina is a legal advocacy agency that fights for the rights of people with disabilities in North Carolina. We handle cases involving discrimination, abuse and other rights violations. All of our services are at no cost to North Carolinians with disabilities. We are a private, independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit and a member of the National Disability Rights Network.