New county district maps debated

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 09:38 AM.

“One of the missions of the NAACP is to ensure political equality of rights for all persons,” said Marshall Williams, Craven County NAACP president.

He said that he had spoken to Dacey and commissioners Steve Tyson and Johnnie Sampson about the redistricting maps and about “why so many of residents have many concerns, apprehension, and mistrust in the process.”

“It appears the proposed maps are straddling the fence of fairness, but leaning on the side of dominance, so many residents believe in possible gerrymandering to assure political majority and diluting any opposition,” Williams said.

“While having maps available is helpful, they need the data used to draw them. It’s hard to have an informed, intelligent discussion when you are only looking at maps alone; I shouldn’t have to inquire with an attorney to be able to understand what the proposed maps meant statistically, and their intrinsic implications. Make the process as transparent as possible.”

Craven County Democratic Party Chairman Rachel Parnell said that was the information for which she was also searching.

“Point well taken,” Dacey said, and distributed copies and put up on a screen the demographics of current and proposed districts, none of which deviates more than 1.43 percent from a goal average of 14,786 residents.

The data presented and expected to be posted on the county website, show districts 1 through 5 still have more registered Democrats than Republicans, although Republicans now hold five of the seven commission seats.

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