The Greensboro Redistricting Committee, after a long and impossible to follow discussion, reached a consensus that the revised “Pie Shaped Version 2 Draft Map” was its number one preference to redraw the five City Council districts.
The meetings of the Redistricting Committee no doubt meet some minimum standard of a “public meeting” as defined by the North Carolina Open Meetings Law because there were cameras and microphones in the meeting room at city hall. However, with masks being worn by participants and an inadequate sound system, understanding what was being said or even what exactly was being discussed is extremely difficult.
Also during a large portion of the meeting Greensboro Planning Director Sue Schwartz wrote on a poster board sized paper and then pointed to what she had written, presumably the names of different maps. What was written on the board was completely indecipherably to anyone watching the YouTube broadcast, making it impossible for anyone watching to know what was being discussed.
Six of the seven committee members agreed that that the pie shaped map would be the map sent to the City Council as its recommendation. The lone holdout was Marlene Sanford, representing Triad Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition (TREBIC), who had initially suggested that the committee consider the pie shaped map.
The current pie shaped map that will be recommended to the City Council moves 26 precincts while the population requirements could be met by moving as few as two precincts.
The most vocal proponent of the pie shaped map was Steve Bowden representing the George C. Simkins Jr. Memorial Political Action Committee. Bowden said that in his opinion rather than presenting the City Council with a number of options, the committee should make a strong recommendation for the map that the overwhelming majority supported and that would be the best for the city moving forward.
Bowden agreed that another map could be presented to the City Council if in the presentation it was “verbalized that we don’t like it.”
Sanford said, “We really have a consensus for the pie shaped map as the top option.”
The pie shaped map unlike any of the other maps under consideration is based on the districts that were drawn in 2001 where all five City Council districts come into the center city area and expand out toward the city limits.
The other maps are all based on the current City Council district map where District 5 is far different from the other districts going along the outer edge of the city from the southeast to the area around the Piedmont Triad International Airport.
You can find more information about the maps here: Redistricting