An Updated Statement on the
Anti-Greensboro Democracy *Law*
The North Carolina NAACP and Forward Together Moral Movement stand in strong opposition to the race-based overreaching undertaken by the General Assembly last Thursday. In a prime example of anti-democratic actions and bully politics, the NC General Assembly pushed forward an atrocious, race-based state bill disguised as a local redistricting bill that will have a detrimental impact on the city of Greensboro for years to come.
The anti-democracy state legislators think they know how to govern Greensboro better than its own citizens -- ignoring both the proper legislative process and the opportunity for public feedback. This faction wants to make it harder for minorities and working people to have influence with their votes. But the people of Greensboro are not fooled.
Senator Trudy Wade, former Greensboro City Councilwoman, and Joyce Krawiec, from Forsyth County, introduced Senate Bill 36, which originally proposed the redistricting plan for Greensboro but failed to make traction in the House and ended up being stuck in committee. To get around the process, the Greensboro redistricting plan was added to HB 263. Senator Bob Rucho’s Senate Redistricting Committee took a rushed, hushed vote a few weeks ago, setting the stage for a major fight with the people of Greensboro.
Before this horrendous law was passed, Greensboro had three at-large City Council seats and five single district Council seats. The Greensboro mayor voted on every issue and elections for City Council were hotly contested, since there was no run-off.
Now, House Bill 263 eliminates at-large seats and establishes eight single-member districts; limits the power of the mayor, allowing her/him to vote only in case of ties; establish a run-off election, creating incentives for back-room deals.
Most Republicans and Democrats in Greensboro supported a referendum -- for any changes to the city council structure and district lines to be voted on by the people of the City of Greensboro. But instead, the extreme far right in the General Assembly voted to make Greensboro the only city in North Carolina that cannot change its council structure or voting districts without permission from the state legislature.
By opening the way for new districts, Rucho and his race-based computer map-maker can draw maps to divide and dilute minority voters. They have already split the campus of North Carolina A&T University into different districts. Soon minorities and other vulnerable voters will have no say in how their city is governed.
The NC NAACP will look into taking legal action and supports the people of Greensboro who strongly oppose these anti-democracy steps to dilute the minority vote. One person’s vote is equal to another’s.
In the Spirit of Truth and Justice,
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II
President, NC NAACP
Legislators NOT from Greensboro who voted for House Bill 263:
Representative(s): Adams; Arp; Avila; B. Brown; Bishop; Blackwell; Boles; Bradford; Brawley; Brody; Bryan; Burr; Cleveland; Collins; Conrad; Daughtry; Dixon; Dollar; Faircloth; Ford; Fraley; Hager; Hastings; Horn; Howard; Hurley; Iler; J. Bell; Jeter; Jones; Jordan; L. Johnson; Langdon; Lewis; Malone; McElraft; McGrady; McNeill; Millis; Pendleton; Pittman; Presnell; R. Brown; R. Turner; Robinson; S. Martin; Saine; Shepard; Speciale; Stam; Szoka; T. Moore (SPEAKER); Tine; Torbett; Warren; Whitmire; Zachary
Senator(s): Alexander; Apodaca; B. Jackson; Barefoot; Barringer; Berger (CHAIR); Bingham; Brock; Brown; Cook; Curtis; Daniel; Gunn; Harrington; Hartsell; Hise; J. Davis; Krawiec; Lee; McInnis; Meredith; Newton; Pate; Rabin; Randleman; Rucho; Sanderson; Soucek; Tarte; Tillman; Tucker; Wells.