It didn’t take the Greensboro Redistricting Committee long to decide which City Council redistricting map it planned to recommend to the City Council.
At the Thursday, Sept. 30 meeting it also didn’t take long before it was clear that nobody in Greensboro chose to provide input on the four maps being considered. There were several people who signed on to the public forum and a couple of general questions were asked but no one who signed on to speak had any specific comments on the maps. Several people said they signed on through Zoom to watch the meeting, not to comment. The meeting could also be watched on the City of Greensboro YouTube Channel, but those watching on YouTube did not have the option of speaking at the meeting.
After people were given an opportunity to speak, the discussion among the seven committee members began. Steve Bowden, the chairman of the George C. Simkins Jr. Memorial Political Action Committee said that of the four maps under consideration he thought the “Pie Shaped” draft map was the best largely because then each district had some “skin in the game relative to the downtown.” Bowden said, “If you are going to be a real city you have to have a vibrant core.”
Everyone on the committee agreed with Bowden that the pie shaped map was worthy of serious consideration.
Then the discussion focused on possible alterations to the proposed pie shaped map that would improve it. None of the other three maps were discussed in any detail.
The pie shaped map was the only map that was based on the City Council district map that was drawn in 2001 rather than the current City Council district map which was drawn in 2011.
The committee instructed city staff and the consultants to attempt to make the proposed pie shaped map better meet the criteria set out by the City Council. Committee member Marlene Sanford expressed particular concern about the projected growth of the city’s population and suggested that based on that projected growth that City Council Districts 1, 2 and 4 should be smaller because they were the most likely to have significant growth.
Committee members also asked that, if possible, the pie shaped map be made even more pie shaped with every district not simply being near the downtown but having a piece of downtown Greensboro.
The committee appeared split on the idea of splitting precincts to achieve a better map.