Friday, August 19, 2022


A look at lack of representation as a deterrent for young voters; Maine's DOT goes green while Washington state aims to make homes more energy resilient; and a growing momentum for trauma-informed care.


Florida judge says Mar-a-Lago search affidavit should be partially released, former chief financial officer of Trump Organization pleads guilty to grand larceny and tax fraud, and the Biden administration says it's moving monkeypox vaccine production to U.S.


More women enter politics in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling on Roe v. Wade, one owner of a small town Texas newspaper fights to keep local news alive, and millions of mental health dollars could help reduce the suicide rate among farmers and ranchers.

NC Lawmakers Reach Across Aisle to End Gerrymandering


Tuesday, April 4, 2017   

RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina has a long history of gerrymandering election districts, but small steps are being made by members of both parties to end the practice once and for all.

Today is the deadline for state senators to sign on to co-sponsor Senate Bill 554 that would create a Fair Redistricting Study Committee to ensure that 2020 House, Senate and congressional districts are drawn fairly for all citizens.

Chris Coughlin, a professor at the Wake Forest University School of Law, explains the importance of such an effort.

"Because it's so hard for individuals who are of the party that's not in power to win in an area that's been unfairly gerrymandered for political purposes, you don't get contested races, and when you don't get contested races we tend to see more ultra-partisan individuals win," she explained.

Twenty-two other states have adopted similar bipartisan redistricting committees. A Washington Post analysis found that North Carolina is home to three of the 10 most-gerrymandered districts in the country.

A survey by Public Policy Polling released in January found that 59 percent of voters in the state support drawing district lines in a nonpartisan fashion, with just 15 percent specifically opposed to it.

While North Carolina Republicans redrew districts from the 2010 Census in favor of their party, historically state Democrats also have participated in the practice when they've been in the majority.

Coughlin says it's important to end the practice - regardless of who is in power.

"People need to understand that this isn't all just Republicans," she said. "This has been happening in our state for decades. The pendulum is going to swing back, so at some point, we just need to have a fair and independent system."

Aside from assuring equal representation, cost is another factor. As of last August, the state had spent more than three and a half million dollars defending the most recent redistricting lawsuits.

Currently, the bill's main sponsors are Sen. Angela Bryant of Halifax, Nash, Vance, Warren and Wilson counties, Sen. Floyd McKissick of Durham and Granville counties, and Sen. Gladys Robinson of Guilford County.

Reporting by North Carolina News Connection in association with Media in the Public Interest and funded in part by the Park Foundation.

get more stories like this via email

Earlier this year, nearly 1,300 Minnesotans participated in a new initiative that provides free schooling for people who want to become certified nursing assistants. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This fall, additional free classes will be offered in Minnesota for people thinking about a career as a certified nursing assistant. It follows an …

Health and Wellness

Legislation signed into law this month by Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to bring updates long overdue to mental-health services in Massachusetts…


The Maine Department of Transportation is "going green," with plans to install solar arrays on three state-owned properties in Augusta. The …

A new Indigenous academy in South Dakota, geared for younger students, says it wants the kids to have a deep sense of belonging, higher engagement and motivation. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Organizers behind a new Indigenous school in western South Dakota hope they can give young Native American students a more optimal learning environmen…


Numerous community advocates are calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build a long-proposed subway station at 10th Avenue and 41st …

hearing aids are not covered under Medicare or most insurance plans. (EdwardOlive/Adobestock)

Social Issues

Relief may be on the way for many older Nevadans who need hearing aids but can't afford to pay $3,000 to $5,000 for a pair. The Food and Drug …

Social Issues

Workers in Michigan won major victories recently as a minimum-wage increase and employer paid sick time program were reinstated by court order…

Social Issues

Small-business owners and entrepreneurs in a handful of towns across the state have resources at their fingertips to help renovate and reuse historic …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021