Public sounds off on proposed NC voting maps
State lawmakers hold a public hearing to gather input on proposed congressional districts.
public comments on the congressional maps uh that are thus far available in the House and Senate committee redistricting websites under member submitted maps on each respective chambers site. Uh We have uh two sites that we will also be taking comment today. We have had 36 individuals who have signed up to speak. We will, I will call them in the order in which they have signed up to speak. Each speaker will be allowed two minutes to speak. Um I will begin by announcing our Sergeant at arms that are here with us today in Raleigh. And then I will go to the other two sites uh and allow them to introduce the Sergeant at arms that are there at those sites. Uh with the House of Representatives here we have terry mackerel behind me over here. That's we're coming in. Ray Cook come in there. Warren Hawkins in the back john in low. What's up Rod fuller in the back and chris moore join us. Uh We will then uh go to UNc Wilmington's if we could check in with you uh hear from you and let you introduce Sergeant at arms that are there. Thank you Mr Chair. This rips Carson smith. Can you hear me okay? I can hear you well, great, thank you today. From the House Sergeant of Arms. We've got Jonas Cherry and Stafford Young and from the Senate linda Matthews and larry Hedrick. And we've also got to the General Assembly police officers here. Sergeant Kane and officer jones. Thank you very much. And next at caldwell Community College. Uh If you would please check in with us and introduce your sergeant at arms. Get Senator Daniel, Our sergeant at arms are Dwight Greene, David Layton, Theresa Ferguson. And we have to g a police officer, Sergeant Barkov for an officer Krajewski. Thank you very much. Senator Daniels. Um so again we will go through the list we have and the order in which individuals signed up. Uh they also signed up for a site. So as we come to a uh someone who has signed up to be an additional site, we will recognize them there. So the first sign up is Tyler, I believe it is B all that is supposed to be in the legislative auditorium. Mr Chair. Could I ask a question before we get started If you suspend for just a minute but we're not anticipating questions. Go ahead. Um I was just trying to get some clarity on whether sign ups are limited to either 25 or 30 per location or if everyone here today who has come to speak will be heard. What is the chairs expectation on that? The sign up will be limited to the 36 individuals who have signed up online in order to speak. It is now closed and those that have signed up to be recognized to speak. Yeah thank you for coming the time or something. Oh perfect. Hello. My name is Jonathan. Tyler Bill. As a lifelong resident of the triad I witnessed and was impacted by the racial and partisan gerrymandering that took place at the campus of N. C. A. N. T. Done with surgical precision. The nation's largest HBCu had its campus split in half, which made these maps worse than 99.9% of all other available maps. While the currently proposed ones don't appear to be as egregious. There are still serious shortcomings when it comes to districts being congruent, which Webster does define as having similar shapes or interests having attended the public hearing and precise and spoken with other citizens across the triad. Since here are some areas of improvement would like to remind you of. During our previous discussions, we ask that the Piedmont triad to retain our congressional voice and that the three major cities, once a Salem high point in Greensboro remained as a congruent remain as congruent and compact as possible. The map CBK three, ZM T nine and CST nine intentionally separates all three of those major cities. It should be sent back to the drawing board to specifically work on the compactness and concurrency of those districts. As currently proposed, this will dilute minority and urban citizens while breaking up practical business, medical, transportation and educational networks. Rural voters also deserve to maintain the integrity of their interests as gerrymandering ultimately creates the hyper partisan political atmosphere that we currently find ourselves in at this point. I also think that the proposed CBK format does the best job of safeguarding veteran integrity. Here's a highlight of some of the issues we have found so far CBK three submitted by Senator Daniels forgot the definition of congruent and compact. Gerry Manders in District seven. District nine district to district 11 cm. T nine submitted by senator Highs is definitely the worst map drawer here. It is not congruent in districts to seven or 11 and then CS two CS T two submitted by Senator Daniels is also not grow under a compact with gerrymandering and District 79, 10 and 11. Please make sure you guys are trying to keep these congruent interests as compact as possible so that all of our citizens get the right to vote. Thank you. Thank you. Next up we have kurt our heart which is signed up to be here at the legislative auditorium, Kurt You're recognized for a time not to exceed two minutes. Yes, Good afternoon. My name is kurt Erhard. I live in north Raleigh have for 15 years. Um, and I'm here to just speak for maintaining meaningful communities of interest as we draw these maps, I see my community of interest as including Raleigh, Holly Springs, Durham Chapel Hill. Similar demographics, closely linked people commute back and forth, shot back and forth, socialized back and forth. Similar political mix is similar demographics. It just makes a lot of sense now we have to split Wake County. I recognize that we have to keep it down to about three quarters of a million people. Um, but I feel this can be done while preserving the triangle community of interest. Um, a map that I saw that I kind of like, I didn't draw this, but what it does is it keeps of the vast bulk of Wake County altogether and the remaining bits of Wake County and then combined with Durham and the southern reaches of Granville County makes a lot of sense to me. I think that the, the two legislators, the to Congress people that came out of there would fairly represent my interest in voting access, gun control, reproductive rights, environmental action, improved health insurance, equal treatment. I saw one map CBK three which I didn't like the looks of because it took holly springs carved it away and combined it with rule counties like lee Chatham elements Randolph and beyond. Um, so I'm just here to ask that the, the, the triangle community of interests be preserved. Thank you. Thank you for comments next. We have jenny katara lynch which is also at the uh signed up for the auditorium jenny katara lynch I'm assuming is not present last chance. Okay, Susan Ble mcclanahan has signed up for here at the legislative auditorium Ma'am. You're recognized for time not to exceed two minutes. I am Susan B Mcclanahan from Orange county North Carolina is a 5050 state and fair maps should reflect that the Princeton gerrymandering project has graded congressional maps. CBK three cm T nine CST two Senate map S. S. T. For in house map. H. B. K. 11. Every one of these received an F. Grade because they all provide republicans with a significant advantage. If any of these maps are used, we will not have free elections in north Carolina Because you have already predetermined the outcome in Congress. We will have 9-12 Republicans out of 14. Gross gerrymandering occurs when a candidate wins 55% or more of the vote over the last decade. David Price one, our fourth congressional district by between 67 70.4% in the new maps. Orange Durham and part of Wick would make a new congressional district by joining us with wake. You are diluting urban voices because the most populated areas are the easiest to gerrymander, which should only be divided into two districts and S. S. T. Four. You have gerrymandered Senator Valerie Fuyushiba comprising her district of Orange person Caswell rather than the current orange chat and partnership. In 2017. When you tried to Gerrymander North Carolina Judicial Districts. Local judges wrote to object saying that splitting orange and Chatham would disrupt a fully functioning system and caused confusion and unnecessary complications. Residents of Orange and Chatham counties are more connected by work, commerce and recreation than those with other counties. Please keep orange and Chatham together. Thank you. Thank you for your comments. Next up, we have Kathy Greggs with the fable packed uh here in the auditorium. You're recognized man for a time not to exceed two minutes. Thank you. Thank you for allowing us to be here again. Um We do appreciate us, you know, being able to come again and have addressed the issue of redistricting, but obviously based on the maps, no one listened to us the first time. So the fact that you're making a mockery of the people is just so embarrassing for you all to come here and tell us that the maps that you draw, you had no idea he was gonna draw and Senator clark, I'm very disciplined in you being the army veteran that made the map only so you can run for Congress. Let's make sure we not sit here and be us with the people. You know, let's really get some work done because this is straight up Bs. You allow the people to come here and speak and you chose not to do with the people want it. Once again, we're going back into the courtroom because you have to wait, wait and sit up here and take taxpayer money because you don't want to address the real issues like the fact we still have a lieutenant governor that don't wanna address L. G. B. T. Q. I say we vote all y'all out, you go home and that's it. Thank you. Thanks for your comments. Uh Caitlyn. MetZger ah with no affiliation. Also asked Peking the legislative auditorium. Thank you ma'am. You're recognized for a time period not to exceed two minutes. Thank you. Good afternoon. My name is Caitlin Metzger. I live in Durham. I'm a lifelong north Carolinian and have lived in several places across the state but here today to talk about um myself as a voter in Durham County. Uh two main things. One I do believe, do not believe that you have listened to the input from voters so far. I did my best to follow along the process online. I did my best to watch what was happening at the previous hearings in september. I did my best to read through the thousands of comments that went through the online portal when I look at the draft maps that I see on your website, which is too hard to use. Um it is clear to me that you did not listen to the people and you have not taken in the input of the people that you requested to hear from. First of all, the triad needs to be in one district, stop cracking and packing people of color into different districts. Second of all the Sand Hills region asked specifically to be in one district. Um I know there's multiple draft maps, so I don't know exactly which one you're considering, but from what I could see from the draft maps, you did not listen to that feedback as well. The other thing that I want to bring up is a little bit more about the process here today. It is three p.m. on a Monday. Um, and I know personally that I have friends and family who texted me thinking that they signed up for today, but got the link to do the virtual later. Um, so I just want to say it was not easy to sign up. It was not easy to get here. Um, it was only announced a few days ago. Um, it is inaccessible and that is your choice. You're doing that on purpose. The last thing I want to speak about is we have a new congressional district. Um, that should be exciting for north Carolinians. More representation in Dc means more people fighting for us and what we want, which is better, better public schools, Medicaid expansion, clean air, clean water, better funding for H. B. C. U. S. And community colleges. These are the things that we want to see from congress instead, we're gonna be litigating and paying for your mistakes. Once again, thank you for your comments. Next up, I have Diane Young Popova uh, in the auditorium. Thank you man. Be recognized for a time period not to exceed two minutes. Good afternoon. My name is Diana Young piva. I'm a citizen of Wake County. I've lived in north Carolina for almost my entire life. I wasn't born here but lived here most of my life. Um, thank you for the opportunity to be here in person and also providing opportunities for people to participate remotely and virtually um I agree with the previous speaker. Sorry the previous speaker that it's a little hard to follow the process but um thank you for making the opportunity available regardless. Um I too have been following the redistricting process with great interest and attended one of the previous public hearings at Durham Tech. Um The stakes are high for many of you it's a matter of winning and losing. But for the citizens of north Carolina it's it's a matter of our lives and things that matter to us. So I hope we can avoid a repeat of the last decade of hyper partisanship and court case after court case were a fairly evenly split state and running out of time. We got to get to my most important points. Okay so I've looked at the maps that are online. The congressional maps uh in particular there's only one draft each for the N. C. Senate nancy house but for the congressional maps I felt like the C. B. K. Four and C. B. K. Five maps that were submitted by Senator Clark are the most fair um when you look at competitive competitiveness, proportionality, compactness splitting and minority. This is my main point. Um I really would like to know how you are going to be processing the comments that you all have have that received to date. I don't see um at what point you will be reviewing those before the votes are taken. I know that the public access comment input policy requires that a summary be provided to you all. But I hope that everyone will get ample time, ample time to review the comments that have been submitted before you vote. Thank you very much. Thank you for your comments. I will remind future speakers the purpose of this meeting is to take public comments on the congressional maps that are thus far available. Uh Next up signed up. We have Kathy wheeler who is also uh signed up for the legislative auditorium. You have the you recognize for a time. Very nice. Good afternoon. My name is Kathy Wheeler and I live in Guilford County. My comments here relate to the proposed congressional maps in maps drawn by Republican members. Greensboro, Winston, Salem and High point are split across multiple districts. Currently these three urban areas are in one district since we are together a community under one name the triad and share services and have common neat needs in proposed maps, these three areas are separated and put into different districts where their needs are not similar to the needs of the rest of the district. For example, Greensboro in one map is included with areas to the west where there are no common interest. So some constituents in such a district will lose out maps also put these three urban areas in with substantially large rural areas. The result will likely be Democratic votes formerly together in one district being diluted by the larger number of republicans. Mecklenburg and Wake counties were also divided in different ways with the same negative impact District maps should not give partisan advantage, but of North Carolina's 14th congressional seats. According to analyses, these maps make at least nine and up to 12 seats out of a total of 14 safe for Republicans. This is not fair since North Carolina is a half and half state with the two parties. The maps proposed by Republican members dilute democratic votes and deprived communities of effective representation. They do not get high marks from several analyses, including the Princeton gerrymandering project. I ask that you draw new maps and adhere to all criteria. Stay nonpartisan and also consider the maps drawn by Democratic members which do not have the issues above. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your comments. Next up, we have Francis Socolovsky, You have four for a time period not to exceed two minutes. Hi, thank you for having me. My name's frank. Socolovsky. I live in Fuquay varina, where I consider myself a member of the greater research triangle community. Me to call for the acceptance of fair legal maps and to express my concern that the process so far has been difficult to engage with. Um, I'm lucky to have enough advantages in my life that I can be here today. It was not easy to afford to make this comment. I'm sure many who share my concerns were simply unable to muster the necessary resources to be here to give such comment on such short notice. The material provided to prepare for this hearing was given too late. It was hard to find and lacks considerable detail and context about how and why the maps were drawn the way they were. My family moved to north Carolina some years ago before the pandemic to be closer to our extended family and to access high quality education and health care to name a few. Those things are ultimately what brought me here today and redistricting directly affects funding for education. We all want the best opportunities for our Children. Redistricting directly affects funding for health care. We all want access to quality hospitals and specialists and uh redistricting directly affects the abilities of communities to get the representation they deserve. We all want our communities to be heard. So I ask please approve fair and legal maps in approving these maps. Please analyze racial data has made clear in cooper V Harris to draw these equitable and constitutional maps and please provide the details and context around your decision making further. I asked, how can you accept this process that lacks so much transparency and why is it okay to force north Carolinians into districts that do not represent their community. Thank you. Thank you for your comments. Next up, we have Deborah Maxwell with the new Hanover County a cp which should be at the U. N. C. Wellington site. Uh So U. N. C. Wellington, If Deborah Maxwell is there please feel free to recognize her for a time not to recognize them for a time not to exceed two minutes. Mr Chairman, chairman, President and Miss smith. When we know it's really hard hard to to set up set up that he is not present here. Thank you. We will move on next. We have Andy Jackson uh with the john locke foundation who has signed up to speak here in the auditorium. Mhm. Thank you for this opportunity uh to speak to you today. Um The criteria that the joint redistrict committee approved are good for assuring that districts you eventually will approve will reflect the character of the areas that you're gonna be representing, particularly the congressional districts. Uh While in my estimation, I haven't seen any of the current list of congressional districts that will pass muster Nian. I'm confident that this committee will do that using the criteria laid out and particularly the ban on using racial data which is especially important for making sure that racial considerations do not predominate in designating districts. Um on a process note while hearings like this are an important part of the redistricting process organizations are trying to use that process to train people on how to testify at public hearings. Nothing illegal, nothing wrong with that. Those groups are seeking to salt hearing records to bring a public record for lawsuits against any districts. The General Assembly passes. One group in particular is seeking to use redistricting hearings as a tool for future litigation. The organization on the line is a wholly owned project of the National Redistricting action Fund, a five oh one C four that functions as the advocacy and lobbying arm of ERIC holder's National Democratic redistricting Committee. This is not conjecture. One of the leaders of the north Carolina project of all on the line have publicly stated that they want to have testimony in public records that they can and I quote, be impactful during any future litigation. Of course, we all have the right to form organizations to help instruct members of the General Assembly. However, let's not pretend that the comments presented at these hearings are representative of the general public. Thank you. Thanks for your comments. Next up, we have Ellen stevens who has signed up at UNC Wilmington's. If Stevens is there, please recognize them for a time not to speed two minutes. I'm facing the camera cameras up. Okay. Okay, thank you very much for the time I'm leaving. I'm a resident resident of Wilmington north Carolina china. Um Thank you very much for making me hearing avail available for individuals PMm late late and I'm glad that my spot because I had meetings, meetings around to get here today today. So having more meetings more times. Great, great uh comments actually distressing matter that I've seen are that I mean at least congressional map that that splits off the landfall and other other y wary area of the city city away away from pretty much the rest the rest of the city. And I knew Hanover County County and especially the city of Wellington Harrington kept whole, we are we in the community community. Uh the other thing is I was dealing with some members, members of the military very early earlier and they expressed the strongest at the fact that account being divided divided. They feel that the military community has right, right heard heard as a unit and military community puts their lives on the line to be uh United States and they have their their voice voice held well preserved. Thank you very much very much. Thank you very much for your comments. Next up we have brian Mathis with the organization Mathis for Wake County uh here at the legislative building. Thank you sure you recognized for a time not to exceed two minutes. Great, thank you. Good morning or good afternoon. My name is brian Mathis specific civic engagement educator here in Wake County as well as candidate for Wake County Board of Commissioners. Now as I was driving into work today, W. U. N. C. Had a news story uh and replayed the now infamous quotes from then Representative Hall about excuse me, Representative Lewis about redrawing the maps to give a partisan advantage to republicans As we know in 2019 North Carolina. Superior Court ruled that this to be unconstitutional because the districts drawn did not permit voters to freely choose their representatives. But rather representatives are choosing voters based on sophisticated partisanship sorting. I would be hopeful that our leaders in the state legislature would prioritize fairness and our congressional districts as well as state House and Senate And 2021. But so far that has yet to be seen. The Princeton gerrymandering project, which I've had the pleasure of working with. A few interns on that project have scored multiple members submitted maps on partisan fairness, competitiveness and geographic features. Only three maps have received an overall grade of an A. Those are congressional map, CBK four and 5 from Senator Clark and CST six from senator chaudhary. Out of the other six maps that were submitted and scored by the Princeton gerrymandering project. They received an F or C. As an educator. These grades are not good as a citizen. These grades are disappointing and frustrating. It's clear that republican members of our state legislature have not taken seriously the rulings of our courts and more importantly, the demands of everyday north Carolinians to enjoy our state constitutional right for free and fair elections and the ability to choose our representatives. I implore this committee in our state legislature to do right by the people of north Carolina and adopt mats that are fair and a government that is built by the people in power to hold on that power is not a democracy. Thank you. Thank you for your comments next we have, I let Colston signed up here in the auditorium. A Y L E T T coast second time. Final chance did not show uh Phyllis demko um, with the League of Women voters of north Carolina. Also signed up here in the auditorium. Hi, I'm Phyllis demko represents the League of women voters of north Carolina. Thank you very much for letting me speak today. The league believes that the congressional map strong by majority members will significantly disadvantaged minority voters. The map labeled CCBK three would be the least troubles. But even it jeopardizes the ability of black voters in eastern north Carolina to elect a candidate of their choice. This committee has persisted in saying that race will not be considered as a criterion in redistricting. Perhaps as the media have suggested, you chose not to include race as a criterion because you think it will protect you from litigation over racial gerrymandering. Being color blind does not equate to being racially just in fact, it can mean just the opposite, but we believe that you really have considered race. The federal court in the Covington case which ruled against you stated redistricting legislatures will almost always be aware of racial demographics. Even without an analysis of racial data. Of course you are aware you are aware of where your voters of color reside and you are aware of how they vote and that makes it easy without statistics for you to pack and crack us. We think you're being disingenuous by saying you do not consider race to serve your goal of standing power. You do not need to analyze racially polarized voting. You just need to make it appear that you haven't. We urge you to consider the substance, not the appearance of what you're doing. North Carolina's are tired of lawsuits and your employees to stay decisions in order to delay long enough for to get your preferred candidates elected from unconstitutional districts. This kind of bad faith is a frightening challenge to our democracy. We are asking you be a part of positive change and once more earn the respect of those in this state who revere a truly representative form of government. Thank you. Thank you for your comments. Next jennifer Bremer who has signed up here in the auditorium, jennifer bremen Maybe recognize for a time not to exceed two minutes. Thank you very much. Good afternoon. My name is jennifer Bremer and I'm an orange county voter. I'd like to speak to you about a topic near and dear to my heart. The importance of keeping our communities whole as you draw our districts. I'd like to focus in particular on our cities and towns. North Carolina remains one of our most rural states but our towns and cities are growing rapidly. They are vital to our prosperity and quality of life by keeping them whole. You can provide our citizens with better representation. In preparation for these remarks, I took a detailed look at how our cities and towns are divided across five of the congressional maps to drawn by Senator Daniel and one each by senators clark and highs and Representative Hall. These maps differ quite markedly in which towns they divide and how they do it. Some towns and cities across county lines, but they could still be kept whole without doing violence. To the principle of keeping counties together wherever possible, such as in Chapel Hill and bourbon in my my home county. Keeping each town in one congressional district would help voters make their voices heard. It would also be easy to achieve. Also be easy to achieve. Senator Daniels map in particular divides only 11 towns by my count, while other maps chop up as many as 33 charlotte is the only town too large for a single district, but it does not need to be fractured across three or even four congressional districts. As most of these maps do, there is even less rationale for splitting Greensboro, High Point and Winston, Salem, But most of these maps chop them up. Nonetheless, even small towns that don't cross county lines are cut up, such as Hope Mills, Lewisville and Lillington. There's really no good reason to divide cities and towns. As you finalize the map. Please keep our towns and cities whole so that our voters, business people, families, and all of our urban residents have a single congress person who represents them in Washington. Thank you. Thank you for your comments. Next up, we have Lewis Carson uh signed up to speak here in the auditorium. I believe I was told by the sergeant arms stuffing maybe outside. Mm So Recognized for a time period not to exceed two minutes. Yes. Hello, my name is Lewis Carson. I'm proud to say that I've been in North Carolina resident for over 50 years. I've lived in the same community with the same values for over 10 years. The state's redistricting processes have placed me in three different congressional districts in those 10 years. In my view, the 2021 process that the legislature is used to determine districts is flawed. The criteria for map making were quickly adopted with inadequate discussion and time for public comment. The criteria of not using racial data is disingenuous because there are criteria data items and knowledge to substitute for that racial data which may have discriminatory effects Maps. CST 2, 2 CBK three and CMT nine appeared to result in reduced or no minority representation. Furthermore, the public hearings on redistricting which will impact all voters for the next decade are limited to four for the entire state of north Carolina. The number of speakers is limited to 25 or 30 people per site. Furthermore, the maps were only published a few days before these hearings, giving the public very little time to study them. Although the public was offered the opportunity to draw maps. The website, videos of proceedings on the terminals at the legislature are obscured. The screens are too far away to read. The people's voices are unclear. The process is indistinct. The current criteria addressed important considerations, but the process that the legislature has adopted to implement them and drawing maps deprives the people of north Carolina of an equal opportunity to have a meaningful say in the electoral system. Thank you. Thank you for your comments. Next up, we have nina day with the North Carolina Association of Educators uh signed up here in the auditorium. Actually, I'm speaking on my behalf. And one thing I would ask is is there a place when you sign up for just a citizen to say a citizen? Because that almost kept me from speaking with you today. But I'm speaking of myself, I am 90 morley day. I am a proud retired public education teacher here in north Carolina 38 a half years and I urge you to do the right thing here. Our young people are watching. They see what we do set a good example. I live in Hillsborough. North Carolina and I have voted every year that I could vote since I um registered in fable. I would like to ask you to set these Congressional district maps such as C S T six C B K five C B K four. These are the main points. Keep the metropolitan areas together. We all know what parts of north Carolina work and live and travel and do business together. Keep those together, Keep the triad together. Um, growing up in favor, I would like to also support the Sandhills Consortium, the group that would like to have one congressional district for the Sandhills. And the main thing, I would just ask you to fully consider what, what's at stake here. We really want to make sure every person in north Carolina has the right to vote and is able to vote. And so with these districts. The other thing I would ask for is basically this is now in favor of the state Senate House. I agree with my speaker that spoke earlier. Please keep Orange and Chatham county together. There are many things that are going on. They're very excellent in that community together. So keep us together and we have much more in common in Hillsborough with um, counties are Durham county and chapel hill than we do with the counties to the northwest. So please keep that in mind. Finally, I would just like to say, please set a new day from north Carolina. Don't let your redistricting legacy be one that continues during it and you set a map that doesn't require a court fight. Use that money for something that makes north Carolina better place. Thank you for the time. Thank you for your comments. Next up, I have send up Michael Rush with the Brunswick County democrat party, uh, signed up to speak at unC Wilmington's. Uh, if they are, they're uh, please recognize them for a time not to exceed two minutes. Good afternoon. My name is Mike rush. I am the third vice chair of the Brunswick County Democratic Party and I'm speaking today on behalf of eric Terashima, our county chair who had a scheduling conflict and could not attend the following are our comments regarding the congressional district maps, State Senate maps and statehouse maps. Congressional district maps In terms of meeting the critical factors of proportionality, competitiveness, compactness, splitting minority representation. The best proposal is clearly CBK five. North Carolina is essentially evenly split between Republican and Democratic voters. So matters should not be engineered to purposely deviate from this reality. CS two is a classic case of gerrymandering As far as our area is concerned, the proposed district to reaches down and takes a chunk out of Wilmington's from District three. And it's just another in a long line of shameful attempts by the Republican Party here in North Carolina to dilute the minority vote right? I'm not sure if we've lost audio contact or something's happened, but we can no longer hear the site at Wellington. Can you hear me now? I can hear you now. Okay, in the case of S S two T four, the proposed District seven, a course section of urban wellington has been blatantly inserted into the mix with rural Brunswick in columbus counties. So one has to ask the obvious question, why does the republican party continuing its attempts to dilute the minority vote? The answer is simple. The proposed map likely result in a 29-21 split between Republicans and Democrats. Again, under representing the actual strength of democratic voters in North Carolina. Finally, in reference to the statehouse maps, HBK 11 fails the test. That competitive competitive competitiveness and proportionality, it would likely result in a 69 51 split favoring republicans. District 21 Ignores a hard geographical barrier. The Cape Fear River by including the Carolina Beach area on the north side of the river with some of the coastal areas in Brunswick County on the south side of the river. The only thing Carolina beach in New Hanover County, in the coastal areas in Brunswick county have in common is that they are being used to give the republicans a competitive edge. Thank you. And next up, we have James Ab Lord who represents the NHC. I think that's New Hanover County democrat party. Uh, and they are also signed up to speak at the UNC Wilmington's site. Uh, if they are, they're uh, you may recognize them for a time period not to exceed two minutes. My name is James, a blurred. I live in the western part of Wilmington's. Um, and in the county of New Hanover, I've been here for nine years moved from alexandria Virginia. And we are in close relationship with other parts of our city except for a diminished contacts with the people in uhh our precinct W three which is in the middle part of the city. Um in order to continue the idea of drawing fair maps that allow people in communities to be represented by leaders who know their communities and who will fight for needed resources to solve uh communities issues and promote jobs and sustainability. We think, and I think that the Uh w. 03 precinct should be restored to District nine and it's not shown that way on any of the maps that I've seen so far. So accordingly along with Mr Rush and Miss stevens who have spoken before me. Well, we think 10 years of experimentation with the way things have been drawn is enough and we ask you to uncrackable Precinct W. 0. 3. Uncrackable precinct W. 03. Thank you for your comment. Next up we have Paul Taylor with the National Black Leadership Caucus, North Carolina. 8th Congressional District signed up to speak here in the legislative auditorium. 2nd call for Paul Taylor. Well, it's Sergeant Arms. See maybe outside MS Tyler, You recognize for a time period not to exceed two minutes. My name is paul Taylor and I'm speaking on the redistricting redistricting and my thought is, it seemed as though that the legislature or the committee have not really heard what the people have to say. I believe all of Yala and women, honest men and went and with that being said that let's do the right thing this rip, let our community have the vote and redistrict this thing so that everyone has a fair shake it. What's going on and how we vote? Not you guys and ladies determined to vote for us. You're taking it right away from the people. We deserve to vote our hearts, our minds and our conscience and not be decided by the people. I mean for it's just not right. Thank you. And that's all I got. Thanks for your comments. Uh I will ask that the committee room will remain in order. Um so coming in next up we have Aaron Hope who has signed up to speak here in the auditorium. That's the sergeant arms to check and see if Aaron Hope is outside as well. He's out there. No, No 1s out there. Okay, final call Aaron Hope no show victorious. Shay who has signed up to speak at the auditorium here. Uh huh. Thank you. You're recognized for a time period not to exceed two minutes. I'm victorious. Shea from Chatham County, I'm speaking as an individual but I'm also an active member of the Chatham units of the League of women voters and the naacP, I'm appalled at how blatantly the redistricting committees have ignored or attempted to suppress input from the public. The number of hearings before drawing the maps was too limited. The county groupings were insidious in their partisan and racial intent and the skin penis of information about these hearings was disgraceful. The maps and notice of today's hearings have been available for only five days. The maps themselves were not labeled in a way that makes them understandable to the general public, such as C B K three or S S T dash four stat pack. And the number of speaking slots was heavily restricted. Today's hearing was apparently even further restricted. Monday is for comments only on the congressional map, Tuesday is for the state and House State Senate. Well, I didn't organize a carpool and drive all this way and find a parking place in downtown Raleigh not to tell you how unfair the published house maps are for Chatham County. These maps proposed to attach three precincts in Randolph County onto the Chatham House District. Doing so would put the number of voters in Chatham's district at nearly 5% over the ideal size. And Chatham County is growing quickly. So we will soon surpass that legal threshold, Chatham Park in Pittsboro has begun to build what will soon be thousands of homes on their 7000 acres and at least half a dozen additional developments have been submitted to the Chatham planning board. There is no statistical or legal reason to add all three Randolph districts to Chatham's district Chatham Randolph precincts to Chatham's district. I urge you not to include Randolph County's providence precinct, which of the three is geographically the farthest from Chatham. Doing so would dilute the voices of Chatham voters for no legitimate reason. Do not include Randolph County's providence precinct in the district with Chatham. Thank you. Favorite comments. Next up we have linda archer uh send up speak here in the auditorium. Thank you ma'am. You're recognized for a time not to exceed two minutes. Thank you. Thank you for allowing me to speak. My name is linda archer. I live in Guilford County. My neighborhood is just north of I 40 and it abuts Forsyth County. I would like to make three points about my neighborhood Number one. The people of my neighborhood over blooming Lee work in either Greensboro or Winston Salem. We shop in Greensboro or Kernersville. Our doctors are in Greensboro are Winston Salem. Our kids go to school in Greensboro. We are not a rural area. Number three. My neighborhood is growing and changing. We have added numerous industries and warehouses just in the six years that I have lived, their subdivisions are added at a regular pace. We had the concerns and problems of an urban or suburban area as far as the maps that have been released. C B K three C M T nine and CS two. I'll have similar problems. They include my neighborhood with a small portion of Guilford County and maybe a small corridor through Forsyth and then take off into parts unknown somewhere out in the rural areas areas of the state that do not have anything in the way of common issues and concerns. I feel it is obvious that Guilford and Forsyth counties are being split in such a way as to reduce our urban voice that does not serve the people were called the Piedmont triad for a reason and should be treated as such. The outcome of passing any of these three maps will be that we will have to endure lawsuit after lawsuit again and the taxpayers will once again pay for these lawsuits with money better spent on health care, our our schools. I urge you to consider map CBK four. Thank you for your comments. Next up we have joe Gallagher with the indivisible Guilford County who was asked to speak at the auditorium. Thanks so you're recognized for a time period not to exceed two minutes. Thank you. Good afternoon. My name is Joel Gallagher and I'm commenting specifically on the U. S. Congressional draft maps. I'm with indivisible Guilford County, my wife, two boys and I have lived in Greensboro for four years. I'm a physician and while I'm based in cone health system, I interact with the various hospital systems spread across the Piedmont triad including wake Forest Brenner Children's in high point medical Center. When I first moved here at Piedmont triad was split into two U. S. Congressional districts. Aside from getting adjusted to a new city. Getting to know who represented us in the U. S. House was a challenge. I was clearly not alone as I could look up who represented me using different online tools and would get two different answers. Despite putting in the same address, our U. S. Representatives do not listen or advocate for the needs of the urban residents. Now. Greensboro as well as the other communities of the triad are finally contained in one congressional district and were represented in Congress by someone who reflects our needs. There's so much overlap in the area with residents living in one part of the triad and commuting to a job. In another part, we also share an airport arts and culture, multiple institutions of higher learning and even sports teams having this region represented by one U. S. House member ties the try out together and just makes sense. Unfortunately, despite many requests from voters to keep the tryout in one district, most of the math drafts divide the region into 2 to 3 districts, encompassing far removed rural communities that do not share the same sets of needs as the anchor cities of the triad. These sets of maps get poor grades from the Princeton gerrymandering project. They also geographically make no sense with snaking projections dividing counties that are the essence of gerrymandering, which north Carolina residents clearly want ended Instead. Please consider the maps from state senator Ben Clark or state senator chimichurri which keep the Piedmont triad hole. It's also curious what the proposed 14th U. S. House district that's in an area of the state with a rather low population. North Carolina gained another U. S. House seat based on population growth in the cities notably Wake County and it makes little sense to put this U. S. House district in an area that actually lost population according to the U. S. Census data. Thank you for your time. Thanks for your comments. Next up, we have Evelyn Mae been hall which represents. I only have the initials here U. C. S. D. Uh, and is that the caldwell community college say the Union County senior democrats is what I've been given by us that so caldwell if you're there, please feel free to recognize them for time not to exceed two minutes. Center ice, That individual has not appeared at the caldwell County site. They're not there, they're not there. Okay, thank you. So it's an next up then. I have bob jones who is signed up here at the auditorium. It's becoming and not with an organization. Do we have a bob jones? No one outside doing showing third call. We'll have that as a no show Angeline each of area that's for coming in. Not with an organization signed up to speak here at the auditorium. So you might be recognized for a time not to exceed two minutes. My name is Angeline Echeverria. I have lived in Brentwood rally and been active in the latino community for more than nine years. Many of my neighbors are immigrants or like myself, the Children of immigrants. At previous hearings, I and many others requested widespread community education and publicizing of the redistricting process among the spanish language and other ethnic media interpretation, support for testifying in languages other than english and more advanced notice for public hearings. Instead, the information has been provided only in english with maps that are not easy to find nor are they user friendly and less than one week's notice has been given. I am particularly concerned about maps. C M T nine c b K three N C S T. To each of these maps divides Wake County into three separate districts that do not reflect communities of interests and that would result in the county not having any majority minority representation. According to the 2020 census wake has more than 1.1 million residents And more than 10% of the state population. It is a diverse county that is 11.3% Hispanic and 8.6% Asian. And the growth of both of these communities have been propelling population growth across the state by not taking into account the racial and ethnic data for communities that have historically lacked representation. This process has missed an opportunity to advance racial equity and has disregarded the request that we made at the hearings previous to this one. In addition to not providing adequate representation for communities of color. These maps would result in disproportionate representation does not reflect the political will of our state. I request that the maps be modified to ensure that Wake County and specifically Hispanic and asian communities are adequately represented at the same time. I do not want this representation to come at the expense of the hard fought representation that has been won by african american communities. These maps need to be reconsidered to ensure that african american voting power is not diluted and that other communities of color are also able to elect candidates of their choice. Thank you. Thank you for your comments. Next up we have Andrew silver um representing the Carolina jews for justice. Um signed up to speak here in the auditorium. He recognized for a time not to exceed two minutes. Thank you. I support all the organizations that are opposed to gerrymandering, but really I speak only for myself because my views are a little different. I live in North Durham. I think that Durham and Orange County are overwhelmingly democratic. So I don't think there's any way that my area can become anything but Democratic in any of the maps. The problem is that there is too lopsided a margin in this area. So it really should be uh split to even out the proportion along the, along with surrounding counties like person. Grand Villa Wake and Chatham. I don't think that the proposed maps have tried to do this when districts are safe for one party or another, elections are decided in the primaries, not the general election. That is a prescription for electing the most extreme candidates of both parties, leading to hyper partisanship and gridlock better to have competitive districts so that elections will be decided in the general election, not the primaries. Then the representatives must be responsive to all their constituents, not just their party base and we can have better and more responsible government. Thank you. Thank you for your comments. Next up, we have, Michael kelly represented the Buncombe County Veterans Treatment Court, uh, is at the site in caldwell Community College. If Michael Kelly is there, please recognize them for a time not to exceed two minutes. Michael kelly, Senator Heist. It doesn't appear that Michael kelly has appeared for the meeting. Hear that Michael kelly has appeared for the meeting. Thank you. Senator Daniels. Uh, we will then move on to new north Carolina project representing the new north Carolina project who has signed up to speak here in the auditorium Kristen, have you recognized for a time period not to exceed two minutes. Thank you. My name is Kristen. Have like I was born and raised in rally, my husband and I live in N. C. Two. I'm an organizer and I'm a part of the new north Carolina project which invests in communities of color to expand the electorate and create voters for life. Normally I'm not the one speaking for the new north Carolina project as it is a program directed by two amazing black women. But today I speak as an ally to our communities of color that have been largely affected by gerrymandering over the last decade. The maps that have been drawn over the last few weeks largely show little to no consideration of the needs that constituents voiced in september before a map started to be drawn. This process is not a game. You cannot pick your own constituents instead of what should be the other way around through a democratic right to vote. Maps like CBK three cm T nine and CST two will oppress neighborhoods of color and Wake, Guilford and Mecklenburg counties by dividing and cornering them into districts that are majority rural and represented by republicans who have no regard for their lives whatsoever. I ask that you consider using the map C B K four as it takes into account the urban sprawl from Wake County into johnson County as well as Harnett County, which adds in the new congressional district N C 14. I also urge you to keep Guilford County Hole and the new maps into more evenly divide Wake and Mecklenburg counties in two rather than three or 4 districts. C B K four also want to press people of color as harshly as other maps that have been proposed and we'll still keep republicans in the majority. We aren't asking for much. We are asking for the bare minimum of a more democratic process which starts with fair maps. Thank you thank you for your comments. Uh Next up we have manual media Diaz who has signed up to speak at unc Wilmington's U. n. c. William. If manual is there please recognize them for a time not to exceed two minutes. But yeah good afternoon. My name is manual Maria Diaz and I drove two hours from Cumberland county as a concerned citizen to think the north Carolina general assembly for ignoring the statements made by the people of my county. Despite clear demands from constituents. Five of the nine maths proposed by the N. C. G. A. This week divide Cumberland County. Those being S. S. T. Four C. M. T. Nine C. S. T. To see be A. Two and H. B. K. 11. While all the draft maps contain insect modifications for charlotte the triad and the triangle. Only one map provides an inset for Cumberland county. The residents, the residents of Cumberland County cannot see exactly where the provisions where the divisions in their community take place yet. The N. C. G. Expects them to evaluate the maps and make their their comments in just two days. Multiple tools and platforms exist to present these maps and interactive format which would allow people to make more informed and precise comments about the maps. Clearly the N. C. D. A. Has no interest in keeping his constituents fully informed. Even though the N. C. G. A. Didn't read any of the public comments. I have Miss Pamela wrote the more Cumberland Scotland hope and Robinson should serve as a Sand hills district and not be split. However, several of the proposed map split these counties S. S. T. Four. It's an especially bad example. MS Sharon lives in Fayetteville and has lived in NC since 1972. She demanded that her city be kept whole and urged the N. C. G. A. To appoint a nonpartisan commission to oversee the redistricting process based on the maps that were released this week. The N. C. D. A. Has no interest in drawing fair maps, let alone appointing a commission to do it for him. This entire process shows what Miss Sharon wants to see the establishment of a nonpartisan commission. This has not been transparent and this has not been accessible to voters. I'm blessed to be here and speak representative john Socha, I see you here on the list. Uh please don't allow them to split Cumberland County. Thank you for your comments. Next up, we have Sonia Benetton Patrick representing the National Black Leadership Caucus. Uh also signed up to speak at UNC Wilmington's if they're at UNC Wilmington's. Please recognize them for a time not to exceed two minutes. Good evening. My name is Sonya Bennison Patrick. I reside in New Hanover County. I can trace my family's history here back to the late 1800s. I'm also a daughter of a disabled veteran and he would be appalled. My father would be appalled if he was here to see what's going on in North Carolina. Today My mother is 91 years old, she votes in one of the the precincts that you have cut out of and divided and put where she would have no voice along with other african americans here in New Hampshire county. This is also the home of the 18 98 massacre. The only successful government takeover after the massacre. The General assembly in 18 98 passed laws of voter suppression to keep african americans from voting and 2021. It looks like the General assembly is trying to do the same thing today just like they did 10 years ago with the maps were ruled unconstitutional. We asked you north Carolina, is this the type of leadership and the type of things that you consider fair? This is an issue of morality. Do what is right? We demand fair maps. We're not asking for a lot. Just be fair. Is that difficult? Thank you for listening. Thank you for your comments. Next up we have Deborah broth also signed up at U. N. C. Wellington. Uh huh. Um apparently they showed up here. So uh Deborah, you are recognized for a time period not to exceed two minutes. Thank you. My name is Debbie B. Roth of an I'm a native North Carolinian. Um I've lived in Raleigh for 45 years. I tried to look at the maps being drawn online. You said you wanted it transparent. I don't understand how it could be transparent when you couldn't see what you were doing, you couldn't hear what you were doing and I got bumped off five times. That's not transparent. North Carolina is a 5050 state and if the maps are fair, then this is the way they should be drawn where the likely outcome will be half republican, half democrat. That's all we're asking for. The only ones that I could see that were close to this were the ones drawn by Senator Ben Clarke. They weren't perfect, but they were closer democracy requires every vote to count. The opposite should be competitive. Communities should be represented by the person that best serves them. We encourage our young people to vote, we tell them how important it is and every vote should count. The only way to encourage folks to get out and vote as if there is a chance, a chance that the person that they are voting for could possibly win North Carolina has been in the news for terrible, unfavorable things. It hurts my soul as a native North Carolinian to see this. I would be incredibly proud of this state and new politicians. If you could be in the news for having maps that represent the people, You've been given a job to serve the people. Wouldn't it be great to see politicians put aside their own personal interest and put the people first. You know, I believe this is possible. You guys could do a wonderful thing, you can do. What's right? That's all we're asking for. We just want what's right and what's fair. Thank you. Thank you for your comments. Next up we have William Tarpley with the Chatham county concerned citizens uh, signed up at UNC Wilmington's. Uh, if they are President UNC Wilmington's, please recognize them for a time period not to exceed two minutes. Mr Chairman, it appears Mr Tarpley is not in the auditorium in Wellington as a no show. Um, then we have Lynette Ramsey with the Republican women signed up to speak at the caldwell Community College. If they are present at the call, will cite please recognize them for a time period not to exceed two minutes. MS Ramsey, you're recognized for a period of two minutes. Thank you. The first thing that I just want to say is that the only way that there's not gonna be any court battle is if you give the democrats all the seats. And so we're going to go to court no matter what, but I also want to say that I found it quite easy to find the sign up and find out the location and all that. But I want to talk about the inconsistency? I do agree that there's some craziness and confusion in these maps? For example, I want to talk about my district, the current 5th district. You excluded most of Watauga County in these maps, especially in CST too, Except for 3700 people on the far edge. That house is where congresswoman currently lives. And then you went and you skipped all the way over Mr Forsythe and you picked up Guilford County. I do agree with the speakers from Guilford County. We don't have anything in common. In fact, there is not even a road that gets from the congresswoman's precinct across the district to leave her house and get into the fifth district. You have to enter the new district. You would have to go through one of two other districts. The other thing that I just want to kind of address is that the one consistent thing that I see and someone else noted earlier was a district in western north Carolina around the north Carolina speakers home. I want you guys to draw districts that have the best entrance, best interest of the constituents and not just the best interests of politicians and Riley. What happens in my current district when congresswoman Foxx decides not to run in several years, Then what do we do? We have 3700 people on the far side of Watauga County. So we're just asking you to draw better districts. Concise districts for the better representation of the people. Thank you. Thank you for your comments. Uh, the last individual, we have signed up uh and contacted us beforehand because they were added to the wrong list. So we will recognize them here and remove them from the list uh for the virtual meeting. And that is keith Graham who is apparently on site of Wilmington's uh where he thought he was signing up for. And so if keith Graham is there, was that you recognize him for a time period? Not to exceed two minutes. Thank you sir. Thank you for allowing me to speak. My name is Keith Graham. I'm a retired 20 years 22 year Air Force veteran and now a local preacher here in the southeast region. I like to emphasize things uh that I'm sure everyone here has heard multiple times in the past 10 years. I'm asking for transparency and the redistricting process. I'm specifically asking for county clusters and communities interest to be kept together. New Hanover County as a whole is a community interest due to our cultural uniqueness. It does not need to be split when drawing maps also emphasized that map should be uh compact and drawn with competitiveness and keep communities of interest in mind as well. I also urge legislators to keep New Hanover County intact. One of the proposed map shows where New Hanover County has chunks taken out, possibly packing the political strength of its residents, preventing them from selecting a candidate of choice. This caused a lot of confusing for our population in the past and our family members that were voting in two different races. Also, some proposed maps are drawn if adopted will possibly put the state in the position where if it could possibly have no majority representation. This is definitely racial jury man during exercise with extreme prejudice. Apart from these as I want to highlight how disappointed people across the southeast are to the current redistricting process. We don't have enough public hearings. These hearings are not being advertised enough and I fear online public comments may be ignored. I feel this meeting was extremely important and uh I was compelled to take our work early to drive over an hour to attend. Today's meeting that was held during work hours. We asked that you host meetings after hours as you did in the past years most concerning of all is that the public don't have enough time to make comments aftermath follow. It's mhm The people looking up no what Carolina ship able to wrist fine sort of Yeah. Oh master Yeah cut I can't hear anything and from a attention to what you're doing and we will continue demand better for our from our leaders. Thank you for allowing me to speak. Thank you for your comments. Um I will now go back through, I will now go back through the list of no shows uh that are coming here to determine if individuals have shown up at their respective areas to say um jenny cora lynch here in the legislative auditorium. I'll let Coulson here in the auditorium, Aaron Hope signed up here in the auditorium. Evelyn Mae been hall at caldwell Community College, assuming they're not still there. Sandra Daniel, Not here. Senator High School, Deborah Maxwell at the new hand oversight um bob job. She is not in Washington here at the auditorium. Michael kelly, caldwell, Michael kelly is not here. Senator Heiss. Thanks sir. Daniels and William Tarpley. Unc Wilmington's Okay. That would conclude the list of individuals who have signed up to speak. We have exhausted the list, therefore exhausting the agenda. The committee. Therefore, this committee stands adjourned. Mhm.