Here are LWV-Wake president Cheryl Tung's prepared remarks before the NC General Assembly' joint committee on redistricting:
My name is Cheryl Tung, and I am President of the League of Women Voters of Wake County.
The redistricting process is your duty and one that directly impacts the lives of North Carolinians. What you do over the next 3 months will impact voters for the next 10 years. While the delay of Census data has made the redistricting process challenging, there are many aspects of redistricting that should have been initiated months ago. This committee should have met, voted on and put in place the processes and rules for the upcoming round of redistricting. The criteria that were discussed within days of this week’s Census data release should have already been decided. While we commend you for opening a public comment portal, we are disappointed that we have not yet seen public hearings scheduled across the state. These hearings should provide opportunities, especially for those in rural areas and in communities of color, to have their voices heard on what constitutes their communities of interest. The fact that these have not been scheduled or are being rushed with the excuse of census delays, leads to the conclusion that it is your intention to yet again deny the public opportunities to participate while you draw maps that serve your own interests. We ask this committee to hold several hearings across the state and provide adequate advance notice for these hearings and gain a better understanding of communities of interest as a redistricting criteria component. In addition, we ask that you not use member residency (incumbency) as a criteria component.
We know state legislatures like playbooks and have been using them around the country. I would invite you to take a look at this playbook that was mailed to all of you in January of this year. It is a playbook on how to have transparency in redistricting. A playbook about providing the public with sufficient time to evaluate maps and providing the rationale for those maps. In effect, a playbook on how to gain the trust of the citizens of North Carolina.
The League of Women Voters of Wake County encourages you to commit to a process that is transparent and provides for robust public participation. Thank you."