State legislators want to limit public hearings on redistricting to only a few locations — and none at all after their proposed maps are revealed.
Advocates for an open and democratic process for redrawing state legislative and congressional maps are crying foul over the highly restricted process proposed for taking public input. If public involvement is to be meaningful, they say, then people across the state must be able to get to a public hearing near them. They also need a chance to comment again after they’ve seen the actual proposed district maps. The legislative majority’s public input plan falls woefully short on both counts.
In an earlier letter (PDF), several pro-democracy groups called for an open and inclusive process of public involvement in the redistricting process.
Unfortunately, legislative leaders chose to ignore those recommendations. After seeing the details of the completely inadequate input process those leaders have proposed, an even larger set of 30+ groups, including NCLCV, is calling for specific improvements such as:
- Holding hearings in all parts of the state
- Holding hearings before and after maps are drawn
- Offering remote participation
- Conducting education on the process
- Appropriately advertising hearings
- Prioritizing safety and accessibility at hearings
- Holding hearings on evenings and weekends
That letter will be delivered to legislative leaders and released to the media this week.