As the legislature hunkers down to re-draw some of the House and Senate districts to comply with the recent Common Cause three-judge decision which claimed “extreme” partisan gerrymandering, new maps will solve the immediate problem but they won’t solve the underlying problems with redistricting. What’s next? Real reform.

Several redistricting bills have been filed this session. Actually redistricting bills have been filed every session for decades. Now is the time to act.

One proposal has already gotten strong bi-partisan support. House Bill 140 clarifies how re-districting should be done in two significant ways – 1) sets rules/standards/criteria already recognized by the courts as a constitutional amendment voters would vote on and 2) sets a process in place where professional legislative staff would draw maps that would go before a non-partisan review board with final approval by the General Assembly (ensuring the constitutionally recognized body directed to conduct redistricting does it, not the courts)

Filed just weeks into the 2019 session, House Bill 140 is the insurance policy both sides need to ensure a fair playing field, limitation on unending expensive litigation, assurance of election integrity that voters want and deserve.

Thankfully 62 members of the NC House, 44 Democrats and 18 Republicans, recognize that the time for reform is now and have signed on as sponsors of House Bill 140. They recognize that enshrining rules into the constitution and implementing a fair process with oversight and accountability is the shield they need against future gerrymandering and what the people of North Carolina demand.

Who are these leaders?

Gale Adcock -Wake
John Ager – Buncombe
Kelly Alexander – Mecklenburg
Cynthia Ball Wake
Sydney Batch – Wake
Chaz Beasley – Mecklenburg
Mary Belk – Mecklenburg
MaryAnn Black – Durham
Cecil Brockman – Guilford
Becky Carney – Mecklenburg
Christy Clark – Mecklenburg
Ashton Wheeler Clemmons – Guilford
Carla Cunningham – Mecklenberg
Allison Dahle – Wake
Terence Everitt – Wake
Jean Farmer-Butterfield
James Gailliard – Nash
Terry Garrison – Granville/Vance/Warren
Rosa Gill – Wake
Charles Graham – Robeson
Wesley Harris – Mecklenburg
Zack Hawkins – Durham
Yvonne Lewis Holley – Wake
Howard Hunter – Gates/Hertford/Pasquotank
Verla Insko – Orange
Darren Jackson – Wake
Joe John – Wake
Brandon Lofton – Mecklenburg
Carolyn Logan – Mecklenburg
Marvin Lucas – Cumberland
Nasir Majeed – Mecklenburg
Grier Martin – Wake
Graig Meyer – Orange/Caswell
Derwin Montgomery – Forsyth
Garland Pierce – Scotland/Hoke
Joe Sam Queen – Haywood/Jackson/Swain
Amos Quick – Guilford
Robert Reives – Durham/Chatham
Ray Russell – Ashe/Watauga
Evelyn Terry – Forsyth
Brian Turner – Buncombe
Julie van Haefen – Wake
Shelly Willingham – Edgecombe/Martin
Michael Wray – Halifax/Northampton

Bill Brisson – Bladen/Sampson
Kevin Corbin – Macon/Cherokee/Clay/Graham
Ted Davis – New Hanover
John Faircloth – Guilford
John Fraley – Iredell
Holly Grange – New Hanover
Jon Hardister – Guilford
Craig Horn – Union
Chris Humphrey – Lenoir/Pitt
Frank Iler – Brunswick
Donny Lambeth – Forsyth
Chuck McGrady – Henderson
Greg Murphy – Pitt
Dennis Riddell – Alamance
David Rogers – Rutherford/Burke
Stephen Ross – Alamance
Sara Stevens – Alleghany/Surry/Wilkes
Donna White – Johnston

Understandably the General Assembly is hard at work complying with the court order to re-draw the districts under the Common Cause judgement under a very short time frame. There’s still that matter of the budget impasse and storm recovery underway in the east. But the next thing on the to-do list must be redistricting reform. House Bill 140 offers the best solution to a long standing problem. Because it’s a constitutional amendment, it will require a 3/5 majority vote or 72 votes in the House.

We know who can get it done. Thank you for your leadership.