The Greensboro City Council plans to vote to have members of five organizations appointed to a citizens’ redistricting committee at the Tuesday, August 31 City Council meeting.
As Mayor Nancy Vaughan noted, according to the plan presented there will be no representation by the business community on the proposed redistricting committee.
Councilmember Marikay Abuzuaiter said that the majority of groups suggested all lean toward a “certain party.”
She said, “We also need a balance of different ideologies of people in our community.”
The five groups being proposed to appoint one member each to the citizens redistricting committee are: the American Civil Liberties Union, the League of Women Voters of the Piedmont Triad, the George Simkins Jr. Memorial Political Action Committee, the NAACP and the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress.
According to Mac McCarley of Parker Poe, who has been hired by the City Council to help guide them through this process and made the recommendation, the ACLU and the League of Women Voters were chosen because they are nonpartisan organizations. The NAACP and the Simkins PAC were chosen to represent minority voters and the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress was chosen as a nonpartisan group that is involved in city political issues.
Technically it is true that both the ACLU and the League of Women Voters are nonpartisan in that they allow members from both parties.
But it could be argued that the Simkins PAC is the most conservative organization in the group. The Simkins PAC has endorsed a host of Republican candidates over the years including Robbie Perkins, Zack Matheny and Trudy Wade.
The Greensboro City Council is made up of eight Democrats and Councilmember Michelle Kennedy, who is unaffiliated but is one of the more liberal members of the City Council.
McCarley said that if the City Council thought the committee needed more representation that the mayor could appoint two members. Vaughan mentioned the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce and someone from Elon Law School as possible appointees. The Triad Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition was also mentioned as an organization that might be asked to appoint a member. But the majority of the City Council seemed pleased with the idea of the five groups proposed appointing the five members of the committee.
In the end, the committee will only make a recommendation. The final decision on redistricting will be made by the City Council.