Public input needed as City of Greenville tackles redistricting

Greenville

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The City of Greenville is holding public input redistricting meetings. City Council members want public feedback on how these lines should be drawn.

Every 10 years, when the new census data comes out, the city is required under federal and state law to look at how the districts are balanced. This is why the city is going through the redistricting process.

“What has happened is the municipalities have had significant growth in the city and they are required to go back and redraw the lines for their voting districts,” City of Greenville Public Information Officer Brock Letchworth said. “Greenville, with the growth we’ve seen, obviously fell in that category.”

The council is now presenting the public with options.

“We hired a consulting firm, they looked at numbers, population of the city, took some advice from the council and then they went to the drawing board and came up with three proposals for the new districts,” Letchworth said.

Option A is a mix between the current option and includes changes to District 2.

Option B closely resembles the shapes of existing districts.

Option C is the most different from the current map with very clean boundaries.

“The city council could have redrawn the lines by themselves however they wanted to, approved them and sent them out,” Letchworth said. “Obviously that’s not in the best interest, you want to get public feedback.”

Some people made comments about the redistricting during Wednesday’s virtual session.

“Sometimes when these lines are drawn, we have the lines or districts packed with racial data with individuals who are of the same race instead of based on the actual count that is needed,” said N.C. Rep. Kandie Smith.

“Much of the surrounding ECU population are short term, transient voters who are not really participating based upon being a part of a sustainable tax base,” said Yoshi Newman during the meeting.

The city is happy to hear this feedback.

“I don’t think they want the perception that they have cherry picked these districts and designed them how they want,” Letchworth said. “Council is just seven people and the more input you get, the better opportunity for a better result in the end.”

The next public meeting will be next Wednesday, September 29 from noon-2 p.m. The city will also hold another session on October 6 from 4-6 p.m. Both meetings will be at Greenville City Hall.

If you still can’t make these meetings, they have eight locations to fill out a comment card with your thoughts on the three proposals.

  • Greenville City Hall, 200 West Fifth Street
  • Sheppard Memorial Library, 530 Evans Street
  • Sheppard Carver Branch Library, 614 West 14th Avenue
  • Sheppard East Branch Library, 2000 Cedar Lane
  • Moyewood Community Center, 1710 West Third Street
  • Drew Steele Center, 1058 South Elm Street
  • Eppes Recreation Center, 400 Nash Street
  • South Greenville Recreation Center, 851 Howell Street

There is also an online forum here.

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