The US Census Bureau has not released the complete 2020 Census data, however it has released enough data for the Greensboro City Council to redraw the City Council districts.

At the special virtual meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 31, the City Council is scheduled to approve a citizens’ redistricting committee.  At the August 26 work session, the City Council more or less agreed on the seven organizations that will be appointing one member each to the citizens redistricting committee.

There was also the suggestion from Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter that at least one of the organizations that had proposed appointing a black male to the committee be encouraged to rescind the proposed appointment and replace that appointment with a black female.

The City Council was operating with limited information at the Aug. 26 work session because the consultant hired by the council to facilitate the appointment of the committee would not divulge which six of the seven organizations had made their appointments.

La-Deidre Matthews, from the law firm Parker Poe, who has been hired as the consultant to facilitate the appointment of the committee said she could give the City Council the demographic information about the proposed appointees but not their names or which organizations had made the appointments because of an agreement with the organizations.

Because of concern about the demographics of the proposed committee, which included three black males, two white females and one white male, Mayor Nancy Vaughan asked that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) be replaced with the Greensboro International Advisory Committee to make an appointment.  But it was unknown to the City Council whether the ACLU had made its appointment or not.

Vaughan also supported Abuzuaiter’s suggestion that at least one organization that had made an appointment of a black male be encouraged to rescind that proposed appointment and appoint a black female to the committee.

Vaughan said that it appeared her suggestions had the support of a majority of the City Council, but no vote was taken.

If Vaughan’s proposal was followed then the organizations appointing members to the citizens redistricting committee would be the League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad, the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress, the Greensboro Chapter of the NAACP, the George C. Simkins Jr. Political Action Committee, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, the Triad Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition (TREBIC) and the Greensboro International Advisory Committee.

Two councilmembers, Sharon Hightower and Justin Outling, objected to the Chamber of Commerce and TREBIC being allowed to appoint members.  Both of those organizations had been added at the Vaughan’s request.

A majority of the City Council expressed opposition to not having any black females on the list of proposed appointees. 

If as Vaughan said a consensus for her proposed changes was reached, it was a tenuous consensus at best and could fall apart when the council is given more information about the proposed committee members.