I need everyone that plans to sign up to sign up presently and then we’re going to begin our meeting. [blank audio] Our pages for today’s meeting, Joshua Cork, Senator Sanderson, Preston Jones II, Senator Bryant, Mary Brady, Senator Tucker, Woodrow Valentine, Senator Berger, Ian Hunter-Caraway, Senator Barefoot, Marcella Robinette, Senator Jackson, Josh Rogers, Senator Wade. Thanks everyone. I hope you’ve enjoyed your stay here this week and we’re delighted to have you be part of the General Assembly and at some point hopefully you’ll be taking one of these seats here, so thank you for being here. We also would like to say thank you very much for our Sergeant at Arms without whose help we would not be able to run these meetings, so let’s just set out and say thank you to Sergeant at Arms Steve Wilson, Steve McCabe, Marcus Kitz, Larry Hancock, Giles Jeffries, thank you for participating and if anybody in the audience has questions that need to be questions you can talk to one of our Sergeant at Arms and they will be able to forward that to the chair. My name is Bob Rucho. I am Senate District 39, Mecklenberg County, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. We also have Senator Brock. Please identify yourself Senator Brock. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Andrew Brock, 34th District, Davie, Iredell, and Rowan Counties. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator McKissick, identify yourself. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Floyd McKissick, 20th Senatorial District, Durham and Granville Counties. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Michael Lee, District 9, New Hanover County. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Jane Smith, District 13, Robinson and Columbus Counties. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Erica Smith-Ingram, Senate District 3, Bertie, Chowan, Edgecombe, Hertford, Martin, Northampton, Tyrrell and Washington Counties. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ben Clark, Senate District 21, Cumberland and Hoke Counties. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Okay, we will have a number of other members arriving in just a short order. Let’s be clear. There will, today’s goal is to explain the bills we’re going to spend the first hour talking about Senate Bill 36 and then the second hour describing Senate Bill 181. We will be having public comments on both of those bills. Members of the committee, today will mostly be listening. If they have questions that they need submitted for the next meeting which will be Tuesday the 3/10/15 at 3pm to 5pm then they would submit it to Miss Churchill. After our presenters bring forward the bill then we will have staff explain it in detail. The public comments are going to be for 2 minutes. They should be directing it to the bill. Personal comments are inappropriate. If there are questions that need to be sent forward I believe we’re going to be forwarding it to our clerk, is that correct? Okay.
Okay, I guess getting the ground rules, ground rules down. Again, there will be no vote on this today. The vote will likely be on the 10th. Let's take up the first bill, which will be Senate bill 36. Senator Wade, please come forward. Senator Brock makes a motion that we, we have a proposed committee substitute for Senate bill 36 that we adopted for discussion. All in favor say aye. Opposed nay. Ayes have it. Senator Wade, if you'll be kind enough to briefly describe what's going on with Senate bill 36, and then staff will assist with detail. I believe we're going to have, be able to put the maps on the screen. I think there are some public documents in the hands of the public right now on 36 first and then later, there will be there will be, there will be some distribution for Senate bill 81. Senator Wade, welcome to the committee. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you mister chairman, members of the committee. Senate bill 36 is a redistricting of Greensboro city. What it does is it puts first off, it's non partisan. It puts the city in seven districts. The citizens will be in seven districts. The reason for seven districts, it will have a smaller population and allow that elected official from that district to be more accountable to the people. Also, it will encourage more citizens to get involved and run in a smaller area and would keep the cost down instead of having to run in a larger area. It also make better geographic diversity of districts, and it encourages people to get out and represent their neighborhood and community and run for office. Also this bill extends the terms of the council member from two years to four years, and to get into the specifics, I think Ms. Churchill, mister chairman, is going to discuss that. [SPEAKER CHANGES] She will go, she will describe the details of the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And after that I think there are citizens here to talk on this subject. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And I believe and I am trusting that they have already signed up in the, in the seat sheet to be speaking. Ms. Churchill, would you like to explain Senate bill 36, Greensboro city council changes? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Glad to, I'll go, would you like for me to go through the bill section by section? [SPEAKER CHANGES] If you will. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Section one is in two parts. It clarifies that the city of Greensboro will continue to operate under the council manager form of government and that that will continue until there is a subsequent act of the general assembly. Section two of the bill would amend the current structure of the form of government to have, provide for seven members of the city council and a mayor. It also establishes seven new districts. Those districts, the description in writing that starts on page one, line 20 and goes through page 9, line 38. And once we get the screens working, we'll be able to see the map on the screen. Sections three and four change the powers and duties of the mayor of Greensboro to provide that the mayor will vote only in the case of a tie amongst the city council members and the mayor will have a vote in the consideration of the employment, discipline, or dismissal of the city manager or the city attorney. Section five of the bill would place the city of Greensboro under the election and runoff method of determining elections for the city council, and all this would be effective when it becomes law, which means it would apply to the 2015 elections. Yes, sir. In the packets from, on the members' desk, there is a hard copy of the map and the statistical analysis of the districts that would be imposed upon the city of Greensboro, the city of Greensboro, sorry. At this point in time, I don't think we made enough copies for everyone in the public. Ms. Mangum will be posting the map and the stats to the committee's website this afternoon, so they will be available to the public. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And, and that would be under the
That is picking Bane one B beans yelling E. Webster user would appear that will be offered at each batch will be posted on the redistricting web site and will only use statistics that go along working on that board , which so so we can take full advantage of our time and the while, 91 to 84 for comments from each week are reassigned out will have 2 minutes to discuss their own thoughts on this show specific bill limits(SPEAKER CHANGES) focused on your ideas and concerns regarding OV E's bales and dub her stardom in arms and eight yell that will explain you have 20 seconds left in your speech are discussions and then when the rain com stock was up in matching BBB and note any further comments we try to be adopted 84 every one of the teams ever say they will be some additional time on an additional nine on Tuesday's meeting with some additional public comment but the majority that time will be the Indians of the committee to discuss and debate the issue and will it all our first things first yelling with the senate bill 36 of this and I need no bill knight available and an 80 Stevens restating are close to begin next version of Mr. Nine and be kind enough to identify yourself a bomb in a VAT weightier but committee members until the war and make you miss chairman bill might come from Greensboro former mayor of Greensboro and thank you for the opting to the beers depot said builders to five for you to speak in favor of the senate bill strongly in favor of Greensboro News for too long been influenced under the current system given a concentration of power and is not changed a lot over the years in fact one of the districts of district three which may include students ID is the most wealthy divisions in Greensboro there's never been a City Council Moon (SPEAKER CHANGES)like it out seven. After a review seven district play and how strongly believe they will your brow representation it will bring in some areas. And under represented mean about people who work for a long time on the job and I've been activated when Simpson, that was tentative and from out of it would come within the spill but I would like to see for your terms of what the ceasefire of elections and as far is the mayor of the voting I think that the nonvoting of provision for mayor and it doesn't merit and should be considered more than 94. Says Ashrawi Abu fail on live in Greensboro just, like a bomb, very much would like to see this , nothing we need to stay focused on the bill would you can do for braver with the third largest city and state and we just have not been progressing as we should do nothing good with exchange figure much edged knife (SPEAKER CHANGES) Ms. Stevens aboard a 92 week is made by mispronouncing the correct me if one of Julie people's all will be the next person on the misdeeds identified so the user at the Stevens of the Gilbert I just outside the office of us over Greensboro City and I stand in the support is building a senate bill 36 from either the area doubled over tell you that every religion we love to an accident that perhaps involuntarily of giving up. First of its builder importantly, were I to be an incentive for the real city limits, I wanna be represented by local representatives neighbors and people that will represent my interest rather number of a large people will have nothing at all and consideration for want of a fine is a newly acquired member of every grocery segments of our for this reason, of the game at large representation does nothing but concentrate calling him to the few into whether these apples to revolver tiny conceded that encircle a concentration of driver Niggard fire leaving the rest of the city population basically are of powerless to...........
we are to influence events. This current system does concentrate political power. We do not elect state senators and we do not elect house representatives in the state of North Carolina on a statewide, at-large basis. We do that for a very specific reason. There should be no difference between that and a county and a municipality. After all, there is no city or county constitution that protects the citizens' rights. Those powers are inherent in the state government where there is a state constitution and that is the rightful place for this power to be attributed, and so therefore it is within the purview of this body, then, to affect this change. It is within the law. Our seven districts in ??, the proper answer, that perhaps can be debated but leaving a system in place that empowers at-large majorities to concentrate power and to effectively eliminate the voice of the rest of the population needs to changed. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, sir. Julie Peeples coming forward, Jim Saintsing on deck. Identify yourself, please. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Julie Peeples, I am from Greensboro. I've lived there 24 years and I am also a pastor in Greensboro, and I appreciate this opportunity to address you all. I have a letter that Mayor Vaughan, the current mayor of Greensboro, has asked me to share, "Members of the Senate Committee on Redistricting, my name is Nancy Vaughan and I am the Mayor of Greensboro. I regret I am unable to attend today's redistricting committee meeting due to a longstanding prior commitment. I would like to voice my personal, strong opposition to Senate Bill 36. It is important to recognize this bill was not requested as part of our legislative agenda, in fact the Greensboro City Council passed a resolution in opposition to Senate Bill 36 and in support of a public referendum, nor was it requested by the community at-large. It is a local bill that lacks local support. Currently, the city council includes five district representatives, three at-large, and a mayor, the 5-3-1 format. The newly proposed configuration consists of a seven district representatives and a mayor who would have very limited voting privileges. The 5-3-1 system gives all voters greater representation. The beauty of this system is it allows every voter the opportunity to vote for a majority of the city council. That is a powerful tool when residents bring matters and concerns before the council. It's empowering. It inspires the council to work together to find the best solution for the common good. It has been stated the motivation to change the structure has been linked to a desire for council to be more business-minded. Truth be told, we are business friendly council in dealing with very difficult circumstances. Changing our council structure will not make these disappear. This is a distraction. While we do not dispute that the city derives its power from the state, shouldn't there be some accountability to the voters of Greensboro? This is a local bill and should have more input. I would ask that any changes to our council structure be approved by a public referendum by the people it would affect the most. Thank you for your service to our state." And I would also want to remind us of Article one, Section two of the state constitution, that all power derives from the people. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Ma'am. We'll have Jim Saintsing, and on deck Goldie Wells. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. My name is Jim Saintsing, I have been a resident of Greensboro for almost 30 years and I oppose this bill. The greatest concern to me in this bill is that it eliminates the local option under chapter 160A, Article five, part four. This part of the general statute gives all the cities and towns in North Carolina the right to determine their form of local government, within limits. It also gives them the right to change that form of government if they choose to do so. Section 1B of the bill, originally, provided for outright repeal of that part of the general statutes. The version that I see now cleans this language up a little bit but as I read it, it still prohibits the city of Greensboro from altering or amending its own form of government. So the question arises, why is Greensboro being singled out for this treatment? There's no reasonable answer. Whatever the merits of the proposed changes to the form of government elsewhere in the bill, we in Greensboro should have the right provided in the statutes and granted to all the other cities and towns in North Carolina to change the form of government as the people desire it. So, taking away this right is a denial of equal protection and it's unfair to Greensboro
And it really doesn’t make sense so I urge you not to recommend the bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. We have Goldie Wells coming up and Willie Taylor on deck. [SPEAKER CHANGES] My name is Goldie Francis Wells and I am a resident of Greensboro, NC and I am a former City Council person for Greensboro. I have a specific concern. I served with district, as a representative for District 2 in Greensboro and under Senate Bill 36 our current, in the current plan, North Carolina A and T is surrounded by the neighborhoods and precincts Geo 1, 67 and 68 and they are all assigned and have been assigned to District 2. The A and T community’s three precincts on that would be split into District 1, 2 and 7 in the current plan, Bennett College and its surrounding neighborhoods, Precincts 69 and 70 are both assigned to District 2 along with A and T, their fellow historic black college in Greensboro. In Senate Bill 36, Bennett College community is split between 7 and 1. In the current plan Northeast Greensboro, Precincts Minor 1 and Minor 2 are now in District 2, they would be assigned to Districts 2 and 3. I’m really concerned about the split. I feel that the whole redistricting plan is a plan that will dilute the power of the African-American community. We are presented with three minority majority districts, however it gives an advantage with only 29, no, I’m sorry, 19% of registered voters of a specific party. If this new plan comes in they will have 42% on the council, so I’m really concerned about the splitting of these districts. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you for being here. I have Willie Taylor coming up and Tony Wilkens on deck. Please identify yourself. [SPEAKER CHANGES] My name is Willie Taylor. I have lived in Greensboro for about 45 years and for the past 15-20 years I’ve been very active in local city government. I have actually run for the city council. I ask really why Greensboro? To my knowledge there is not another city in North Carolina who has been redistricted and their government composition changed as this bill would do for Greensboro. We have approximately 300,000 people in Greensboro. I read the paper every day, letters to the editor, I’ve been to all the City Council meetings. I was there when the [??] delegation came and I can only identify some 8-10 people out of the 300,000, approximately 300,000, who support this bill. At the City Council meeting this past Tuesday night, one of our members, an attorney I might add, commented that should this bill pass that it would almost, he could almost guarantee that it would go into litigation. As a resident of Greensboro, and a resident of Greensboro, a city I love and a state I love, I really find it most unnecessary as a taxpayer to have to pay legal fees for a bill the vast majority of our citizens don’t want. I respect you. I respect your position and what you’re doing. Please, if the bill is not thrown out, give us an opportunity for a referendum. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. Tony Wilkens is next, Ellen Weiner is on deck. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of committee. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Identify yourself. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Tony Wilkens and I currently serve on the Greensboro City Council. You’ve got the new map up here and I’ve got the current map here that I wanna share some statistics with. This current 5-3-1 system was twice voted down by referendum and was enacted by a City Council a little over 30 years ago.
This current system would allow 5 members, which is a majority. That’s the magic number, to reside in the same district. Even currently we have a majority living in two districts. Another concern is an area about 2 miles, a 2 mile circle in this area right here we have five members of our counsel living in that little 2 mile circle. Consequently taxpayer funded projects on the outside of the power loop are delayed fairly regularly. We’ve waited 10 years to get a park in district 5 that I represent. The new system that you have I think is a more fair representation of, and I believe it would lead to a more fair distribution of the tax funded projects. In the new 7 district system there are 3 districts that are not represented at all right now, which represents 42% of Greensboro, so I am here to speak in favor of the new 7 district plan. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Thank you for being here. Ellen Weiner is next on deck. Emily Seawell. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Hello, my name is Ellen Weiner. I’m a resident of Greensboro. This is new to me. I’ve never gotten in the car to come to Raleigh before to speak to a committee. I have Senator Wade and I understand Senator Krawiec from Forsyth County to thank for this. I’m coming because I want to speak against this. I have two reasons. You all don’t live in Greensboro and you need to know, I see this as sneaky and as undemocratic. You need to know the sneaky part. We woke up reading in the paper about this bill. We had no idea as Greensboro residents that it was in the works. There had been no community conversations. There has been no citizen input. I look at these maps that Senator Wade says are non-partisan, who drew them? I don’t know who drew them. We citizens had no impact on this, so you need to know that, that this was sprung on us and that’s one reason we’re here. It’s just not the republican way. I just don’t see it. Secondly, now Senator Wade has given you, you have more say in my city counsel makeup now than I do. You have the right to vote on it. I have no right. That’s not democratic. If you lived in Greensboro, you would know that right now I had the chance to vote for 5 people on the city council. I have district representation, 3 at large and the mayor, so I have 5 people that need my vote. With this system right now it’ll shrink to 2 people and the mayor. We won’t even have a vote on anything to say. The third thing is if this is right, why do you have to repeal a part of our state constitution to take away Greensboro’s rights to self-government. That’s a serious thing, and finally, please, if you’re gonna do it, we need a referendum. Let us have a voice. Thank you for hearing our comments. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. Emily Seawell is next and Tom Coruthers is on deck. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good afternoon, my name is Emily Seawell. I’m with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and I’m also a Greensboro resident and a student at [??] Law School in Greensboro. We’re here in opposition to Senate Bill 36. I have 4 points to make today. First, under the current plan the deviations are just under 4%. The new plan would increase those deviations to just under 10%. That’s more than double and there’s no discernable justification that’s been given for that increase. Second, these districts are not compacted visually on the map or mathematically. Third, this bill would break up many strong communities of interest as council member Wells said in addition to breaking up the historically black Bennett College and North Carolina AMT communities, it would break up UNCG from its surrounding neighborhoods as well as Guilford College from its surrounding neighborhoods. It breaks up Northeast Greensboro as you can see on the map and it would also break up two historic neighborhoods just outside of downtown, Fisher Park and Irving Park that have historically voted together and been governed together. Fourth and maybe most troubling in the long term, this bill would repeal part four of article 5 of chapter 168 of the general statutes with respect to the Greensboro City Council. That means that the Greensboro City Council, unlike almost all other municipalities in the state, would no longer be able to change its form of government. As former Mayor Knight said, we’re the
Third largest city in the state and we wouldn't be able to change form of government. So in conclusion, I'd like to restate my opposition to SB36 both on behalf of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and on my own behalf as a Greensboro resident and university student. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. Mr. Carruthers is next. Please identify yourself and Darrel Baskerville is on deck. Senator Rucho, Senator Wade, and members of the committee, my name is Tom Carruthers. I'm the City Attorney for the City of Greensboro and my remarks here are on behalf of the elected body along with the remarks of our Council Member Tony Wilkins, who I'm pleased to see in the attendance today. Senator Wade, we extend our warm wishes and congratulations to you and thank you for your many efforts on behalf of the City of Greensboro. We still consider you one of our own and on those small matters on which we disagree from time to time, we disagree as friends. However, Senate Bill 36 is one of those matters which we disagree. The City Council of Greensboro opposes the seven district division of our city. Since 1983 our city has operated under a five district, three at large, one mayor system. It has proven very effective as a vehicle to allow our citizens both to cooperate and to compete toward the greater good and it is something that has seen widespread support over the last three weeks in almost unanimous interest in those expressing to the City Council their desire to keep this the same. In addition, we question why Section 1B would remove from our City Council the right to self-determination. This has been provided to all municipal governments since 1969 by the General Assembly and we wish to maintain this right as well. And finally, we are here to urge referendum. Our Council voted unanimously to have these changes, these proposed changes placed to referendum of the voters. We would point out that that is exactly the right given to our sister city in High Point when its year of election was recently changed by this assembly. We urge you to consider strongly this referendum and we hope you find that request compelling. In closing, I also offer up our two resolutions adopted in the last thirty days from our City Council in opposition and would like to offer them if there is interest. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Please give that to the Sergeant at Arms before you go and he'll provide us. Thanks for speaking. Moving on to Baskerville is next and then I hope I'm correct, I can't read the writing, Emily Brown is on deck. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good afternoon, members of the committee. My name is Darrel Baskerville. I'm a resident of Greensboro. I am one of the young folks out of our city and I'm very happy to be here. I'm founder of a grassroots organization named Greensboro For Justice. Greensboro For Justice works with young folks and college folks in our town. Greensboro has a beautiful advantage of having five institutions of higher learning in the downtown area and it's a tough job to try to get young folks interested in government when there's a big mistrust of government right now. In the minds of young folks, they begin to see similarities in how the over-militarization of police is working, they kind of see that connection in tandem with government. And so as a young person, I see this Bill as a challenge to get young people to kind of understand and again to trust government and the patterns of government. I carry with me today the voice of the residents of Greensboro, our full City Council, I would just like to point out minus Council Member Tony Wilkins, who I was surprised to hear that supports the Bill even though he sits on our Council in Greensboro in opposition. And like they said, our Council just unanimously voted for referendum. But I also carry the votes of both the Republicans, I’m sorry, the members of our General Assembly from both chambers in saying that we do not support it and if a change is going to come to Greensboro, it should come from the residents of Greensboro. I've got 20 seconds here, okay. So Senate Bill 36 is a dangerous Bill for Greensboro residents and a nail in the coffin of Democracy. Senator Wade, you have targeted Greensboro for a party strategy that ferociously seeks to disenfranchise residents and our local resident officials from the decision-making process of how our city should be ran. Representative Cecil Brockman explains this is nothing more than a partisan party grab and a state level overreach into a local matter. Senator Wade is attempting to rig the game in her favor because her party lacks the ability to win seats in Greensboro. Thank you very much.
We hope everybody will abide by the meetings so that everyone will have a chance to speak im will miss brown coming up and, Elmer Chisholm is awed my knees and lee brown had been arrested in Greensboro for entire length, as a matter that Senator Wayne was bought by county commissioner in city councilman prior democrat CSI State senator and acceding to read a letter from one of our employees counseling and on the Nikkei abuse leader , Renault she wanted to thank you all through service to restate it reads I know the sacrifices and challenges that you face and I appreciate all the difference I am writing in hopes that you're considered he will reconsider bringing forth senate bill 36 as an at large member of the Greensboro City Council I can assure you there at large representatives are all constituents of Greensboro what I can only speak for myself I attend meetings and interactions with residents all over the city had come to know and appreciate you will hear their needs and issues that each district understanding those issues health are at large council members that i am all of them and parts of the city of our size I am extremely proud of what we do under his breath and it surely enjoyed serving the citizens of greens presents 2011 changing the makeup of the Greensboro City council.(SPEAKER CHANGES) The documents and the overall health and well being of our clients any we haven't correspond to hard times its two dozen eight but this tried to remain in the last several years to overcome such an economic tragedy should not be tossed away because it by name field goal is to destroy the current, he submits of our City Council art by 31 system has worked well for over 30 years and is the citizenry opportunity to vote for the majority of council what I am reelected or not is not one of the issues here changing only Greensboro by not allowing citizens to have a say in Iran reducing the size of a council that serves over 275,000 citizens is something that I could not have foreseen from the majority of the legislative body that supposedly values last government's think you'd think it's very much Elmer Chisholm's coming forward and Nobel but skip Alston will be on good afternoon, choosing Greensboro, district two has been in favor of senate bill 36 outcry system has been in place for the billboard of 30 plus years in demographics ethnic food chains, visitation skirt is closely held in the northwest quadrant receivable, Carnegie sedans and if the money with greater equality in representation in Coles Myer lessened with fresh ideas to cope with this issue yet before this bill may not be possible no system is perfect for the system must be capable of representative of the public by a believe this bill to step in the right direction if all this to represent model has been rejecting the past would maintain status quote is to Greensboro and birth history intact this diverse history is the five avoid equity in participation a reminder Wiesel people made walls will offer no reason was, that these laws are towns infinitude students to thank you very much for speaking , (SPEAKER CHANGES)it's all stench coming full one of few near Parker on deck as a chair and Minnesota Committee Monday was Melbourne's Cellos to the resided 2705 west and enrolled in the city of Greensboro bystander for you today as the form of elected member to give the county board of commissioners browser for 20 years or neighbor, spotted the server five years at the chairman of the GIF accountable and commissioners also standard for us to former president of the Greensboro branch ... as a former president of the North Carolina NAACP as a former President Montana Blanca and the commissioners association and testify call founder of the international civil rights center museum in Greensboro also stand for us to play them, old rules they cover the event for the past 33 years and I employs 60 full time employees outside my background seven estate the third and I Care about my community outlook, what always do what is in the best interest of marketing this last day before you today can support of senate bill 36 I believe it is bill was enacted will serve as a positive thing for the Greensboro community is best for the African American community as a physical ball and David and senate bill 36 shells of the change will be more fair in more Representative Dana caste system that is currently in place as daily at one....................
Senate Bill 36 would give the African American community an opportunity to gain one additional seat on the City Council which would be three seats out of seven districts not including the mayor. The current system only guarantees two seats out of nine including the mayor as a voting member. The current system for electing City Council members in Greenboro has been in place for 33 years and has not been adjusted or modified to adapt for the changes in demographics in Greensboro since that time. When this system was adopted in 1982 the African American community consisted of approximated 25% of the population of Greensboro. I ask that you consider the adoption of this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. We have Ceclia Parker coming forward, Robbie Perkins on deck. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and committee members. My name is Ceclia Parker and I reside in Greensboro. With the current districting there is simply an unbalance in representation within our community. Out of nine city council members, five of the members reside within one district, District 3 according to the new map. With the current redistricting, those currently unrepresented districts have an opportunity to gain representation and have a voice, giving equal representation among black, white and other citizens, therefore I am in support of the redistricting proposal, Senate Bill 36. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. Robbie Perkins is up, Theresa Pickett on deck. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rucho, members of the committee, my name is Robbie Perkins and for 18 of the last 21 years I served as a district councilperson from Greensboro, an at large councilperson from Greensboro and from 2011-2013 as the mayor of the city of Greensboro and I am here to support this bill. I’m here to support this bill because if you took the proposal that Senator Wade has before you and were incorporating a city this would be a strong model of government because it gives all of the people all over the city a representative that they can reach out and touch. I think we’ve gotten comfortable with the current system in Greensboro and that level of comfort is evidenced by the way our at large folks are elected. They’re, everyone files for at large is cut down to six and then all of our citizens have three votes and all of them can vote once, twice or three times. No one is competing against each other and the issues aren’t clearly defined. I think it’s time for a change. I would prefer a mayor with a voter veto and I strongly endorse the 4 year term concept. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, and I should’ve said, I think it’s Thesa Picket, sorry, and then on deck, Marshall Beckett. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Hello, my name is Thesa Picket and I’m a citizen of Guilford County. I’m also a part of several boards. I’ve served on the commission of status of women subcommittees and several other boards in Guilford County. I stand in favor of the Senate Bill 36 even though the process has been deemed as largely non-democratic, however I agree that greater representation amongst its citizens is needed. Senate Bill 36 will provide this much needed opportunity. The current district structure concentrates representation within Northwest Greensboro which in my opinion is unjust. The system has been in place for over 30 years. The current system was created when African Americans consisted of 25% of the population and currently now consist of 42% of the population. With this being said there is a need, with this being said there has been a consistent challenge for the African American community to gain full support and votes for our projects due to the concentration of representation under the current representation. There has been public and private conversation as well as dialogue and I think it is fair to say the common suggestion for this bill would be to have 2 year terms versus 4 year terms and to give the mayor voting power versus veto power. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. Marshall Bennett next, Bill Infrick on deck. [SPEAKER CHANGES] My name is Marshall Bennett. I live at 212 Mayflower Drive in Greensboro. Today I had to drive over an hour away from my city to discuss a bill that only affects the citizens of that city. I’m here today to discuss what
36 should not become law. Article one, section two of the North Carolina Constitution states that "all political power is vested in and derived from the people. All government of right originates from the people and is founded upon their will only and is instituted solely for the good of the whole." How can government be derived from the people if it is imposed on them by members of the General Assembly, most of whom do not represent the citizens of Greensboro. This is a local issue, not a state one. Let the people of Greensboro choose their own system of government. Governor McCrory said on Tuesday that, and I quote, "As Governor, I constantly have to fight Washington not to interfere. I think the same philosophy applies to Raleigh interfering with local governments." While I am opposed to the contents of the bill itself, such as the elimination of at-large council seats and the removal of the mayor's voting powers, I believe this bill should die simply on the principle that it does not give the people of Greensboro a choice. If this bill passes, who knows which city will be next? Maybe yours. Please respect the democratic right of the people of Greensboro to choose their own system of government. Please kill Bill SB36. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. Dillon Frick next, Tim Morlin on deck. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Hope you all are doing well. My name is Dillon Frick, proud resident of Greensboro, proud student, UNCG. My friend Marcel and I actually had to miss a civil liberties class this afternoon to come here, but our professor said that coming here is a better way to teach us about upholding our own civil liberties than class. I feel that if everyone in this room had taken a civil liberties class we would not be having this meeting today. I'll begin with a quote from Trudy Wade in 2012, "I believe that government is a threat to personal freedom and individual liberty," I couldn't agree more, "therefore I will attempt to reduce the power and influence of politicians and bureaucrats in order to maximize the freedom of the people of North Carolina." Senate Bill 36 is a threat to our personal freedom and our liberties. What's insulting is that a bill that is designed off the request of one businessman is trumping the will of over 279,000 residents of Greensboro. What's even more ironic to me is that this fight is being led by the very individuals that were elected of the tenets of believing in small government. When today, and the last few weeks, these people, like Ms. Wade, have stood to infringe on the rights of our local government and our local politics to control our own elections and the way that we rule our city. The only reasoning for this bill is to limit the power and the voice of democrats, regardless of anyone's political affiliation, it's evident. No one is ignorant enough to think this bill encourages a non-partisan system or doesn't advance the will of one party, the party of Ms. Wade, the party of Mr. Knight, the Party of Mr. Perkins. Senators, I ask that you let Greensboro govern our own city. The will of the people is evident, we did not vote Robbie Perkins back in to office, we did not vote Trudy Wade back in to office, and we stand against 36. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. Tim Morlin, on deck, Chuck Winfrey. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good afternoon, members of the committee. There are several things that I could get up here and talk about- [SPEAKER CHANGES] Could you identify yourself, please? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I'm sorry, my name is Tim Morlin. I reside in Greensboro, North Carolina, indeed I have for almost all of my life. There are many different things that I could talk about that I see as wrong with this bill but I figured just to start off I would take the map that's projected up here for everyone to see. One of the basic premises of the need for SB36 is the fact that we don't have adequate representation from people within our neighborhoods. District four makes no sense, it squiggles around the city. District seven goes from the northeastern part of the city down to the southern part, encompassing downtown. It's completely arbitrary. In fact, none of us in this room here that I know of have heard from Senator Wade or anyone else why the map looks the way that it does. But beyond that, the map is not the biggest problem here. The biggest problem, that others have eluded to today, is that we have not been given a voice. Last month we had a meeting of the Guilford County Delegation, and I would point out that we had about 200 citizens of Greensboro in attendance, and just as my rough estimation I would say that 90% of the speakers that night were in stark opposition to this bill. The point is, our voices have not been heard and if it does indeed come to pass, we have to have a referendum on this matter. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. And this is our last speaker
on this bill Mr. Winfrey. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. My name is Chuck Winfrey I am a native and resident of Greensboro North Carolina and a former member of your state board of elections. During that time I had the chance to observe the effect that financial pressures on candidates can have on the political process. To that end I believe that Senator Wade's bill reduces the financial pressure on candidates in several ways. First off increases the terms from two years to four years. That allows the candidates to spend less time fund raising and more time actually governing. It reduces the expense associated with an at large race. The at large city council races are the most expensive races that are on the ballot. And by reducing that need for fund raising I think that may also reduce the demands on the candidates and office holders. And thirdly it decreases the size of each district. So each district will have roughly one seventh of the population of the city. The current system each district has one fifth of the population of the city. And that in my opinion may lower the threshold for the financial pressures on each candidate. One might question how the district is drawn, I don't know how the districts were arrived at. I support the plan, I do share Mr. Sansings concerns about the elimination of the local option in revising it so I would suggest as a possible improvement to make that a sunset provision. Say that provision not apply for some number of years say ten years after which time the city could in fact reorganize itself any way it wanted. So again I want to thank Senator Wade for her efforts and actually bringing to the public's attention the fact that the system that we have now is not set in stone. Thank you very much. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you very much ladies and gentleman of the committee and all in the audience that concludes the public comment on senate bill thirty six for today. If there are some questions by committee members I would ask you prior to the next meeting to forward it to our staff and by the way I was remiss in not saying thank you again for our ?? staff. Some of the most able people we have in the general assembly working with us to allow us to move forward on this legislation. Miss Churchill will there be something that will be distributed for [SPEAKER CHANGE] Yes sir we're in the process of making copies of a single sheet of paper that will have the website and e-mail address for anyone that wants to access the documents that were passed out and committee members today. Anyone that wants to sign up to speak on Tuesday the tenth and anyone that wants to submit written comment to the committee clerk. [SPEAKER CHANGE] There will be limited discussion on Tuesday in regards to debate because the committee members will be the ones needing to debate this issue at length. And I will say to you that there is sign up so we're going to move forward onto senate bill one eighty one and I'll ask, which is Wake county, I'll ask senator Barefoot to come forward. Give a description and as we did earlier have staff describe the legislation to you the committee members and the audience and then we'll open it up for public comment. Senator Barefoot welcome to the re-districting committee. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Thank you Mr. Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Just hold one second while the noise is there leaving. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Mr. Chair can I ask one question please? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Senator McKissick what is it relevant to? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Procedural question. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Procedural? [SPEAKER CHANGE] Yes. Simply I take it what we're doing today is receiving simply public comments on both bills but there won't be any committee discussion or opportunity for question? Is that procedurally [SPEAKER CHANGE] Today there will be no discussion at this point. We'll look at it but I don't suspect we'll have any discussion primarily because we are trying to gather information. But the next meeting we will have full unopened debate on it. But you can come from a base of knowledge after gathering information today on both bills. [SPEAKER CHANGE] One quick Mr. Chair if I could. [SPEAKER CHANGE] Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGE] I know I heard some unreadiness among those in Wake county because they did not know this was going to be on the calender today. I know the folks in Greensboro were very much aware.
Roe nick but its mind staying close to the wait can we were not aware that there was some sense it perhaps doing the public comment. We can lead to a restaurant on our next meeting might give people a week. The kids to a sign of income since this was not know until today the cherries, has been under consideration and yes they will be a period of time to dispatch bite of public soon will be accepted one opportunity for women counties accident about the know that many residents simply another elective figures and we can deliver a concern and 89 no disputing to weaken the bill would be up for public comment today killed people are member the public's elected officials were concerned about it occurring today and I did not know who might be better to have the public comment period, we can beat bill are current, makes meeting in lion and art least, if it were to perceive a day allow its subsequent. (SPEAKER CHANGES) A week any input it will be an opportunity for people like Connie Evert kids didn't include meeting our arm is an excerpt from union survives one will be kept open right here are a thing he'd open to debate for a commission chairman of the purpose of senate bill 181 is to increase representation and geographic diversity away county board of commissioners and to ensure every waking hour as voice when counties the state's most populous county in the sport of one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country currently the commission is made up of seven members , which live within the 15 mile radius weapons to the Rollie 75% of towns in (SPEAKER CHANGES) Wayne County don't have a single representative all the county commission keep in mind more than half of the residents of what counting votes on a roll this bill gives my constituents Nicole wake county residents and much needed voice within their county government citizens from suburban and rural communities within way counting what my constituents and wake forest rose bowl Michael Zebulon window garner work or to contribute greatly to our tax base universally no representation on the board and that's not right so what does this building is no increases representation on the way county board of commissioners from seven members to mount one of the new member districts will represent some in one of the new member districts will represent the county communities (SPEAKER CHANGES) the bill changes the current out Borge collection process to residential watching Ross is to ensure geographical diversity, four the bill also wants the way county commission districts to the way county school board districts which event, held by the courts to brag provide for increased accountability and transparency between collected officials the current market system was developed over 30 years ago when county's population was only roughly 300,000 people to require students to run away just like Spencer campaigns countywide limiting the pull those were financially able wrong and forces our commissioners to serve almost one million constituents E more than all the members of Congress this is a local all things but (SPEAKER CHANGES)Leukemic short and there's nothing local about representing one million people is time to increase representation from one county commission for the citizens awaits him and I would like to tell turned over to arrest after exporting weapons and think you sent your point of Mr. 29118 hours ago and Mr. Owen Taylor ball or group with. Section one A Mrs. 1639 increases the size of the board from 7 to 9 as affected the first Monday of December of this year sections one B and one C control what happens in the elections......................
here, in Section 1B the individuals who serve districts 4, 5, and 6. Their seats are up for election this year. They would run again in the exact same districts as they ran in in 2014 to serve a two-year term. And in addition, in 2016, there would be two individuals that ran--that resided and ran in the lettered districts that are currently going to be used for the Wake County Board of Education. In the map that you have on the screen and in your packets, those are the A and B. We could not figure out a great way to depict that, so we tried our best. SPEAKER CHANGES Miss Churchill, when you say "this year," you mean the 2016 elections? SPEAKER CHANGES Yes sir, I mean the 2016 elections. SPEAKER CHANGES So we'll be clear about that to members of the committee. SPEAKER CHANGES Then in 2018, the scheme will be completely implemented, and in 2018--let me back up. The two individuals that would be serving in the lettered districts would be elected in 2016 to serve a four-year term, meaning they would be up for election again in 2020. In 2018, the seven members that would be up for election, meaning the three that ran in 2016 for a two-year term and the four who are currently who were elected in 2014 would all run at the same time under the numbered districts that are currently used for the Wake County Board of Education, and they would be elected to a four-year term. Then Section 2 of the bill would limit the ability of Wake County to redraw the maps until after the 2020 census. SPEAKER CHANGES That concludes your explanation of the bill, alright? Very fine, thank you. As we did with the previous bill, Senate Bill 181, Wake County, we will--I have nine speakers have signed up, and they will have two minutes to discuss their thoughts about Senate Bill 181. Again, our Sergeant-at-Arms will be there to show everyone the time, 20 second warning, and then you'll see the red "stop," which we would hope that everybody would comply with. First speaker, Frances George, on deck, J.T. Knott Jr. Please identify yourself. SPEAKER CHANGES My name is Frances George, and I grew up in eastern Wake County on a farm. I now live in the city of Raleigh just a few miles from this building. Life is different, depending on where you live in the county. I know, I've lived in both parts. However, there are still many men and women who live in rural Wake County, men and women who live and work on their family farms, in their small family businesses, and in small towns throughout the county. They do not live in Raleigh, they do not even work in Raleigh, some of them. Their experience is different. After the most recent election, I was astounded as Senator Barefoot just told us, that five of the seven commissioners live within a 15-mile radius within the city of Raleigh, and that 70% of the towns in Wake County don't have a single representative on the county commissioner board. I know from my life experience in rural Wake County and in the city of Raleigh that everybody needs a voice. They need direct representation, and that's why I'm here today. There are property owners in these rural regions who live on a single small lot, like many of us here in Raleigh. Some have ten acres, but there are many who have hundreds of acres in farmland, and these citizens need a voice on the board. The board needs the expertise and the wisdom of those who understand rural Wake County because they live there. They need to know how county property tax increases, county land development regulations affect large land owners differently than those that live in the city of Raleigh and have never managed or farmed or developed tracts of land privately. One size fits all does not work. Each district and each small town needs a voice on the board from people who actually live and vote in each district only. Voted for by the district only, by those who live in the district only. Senator Barefoot's proposed legislation does just that. This legislation will give direct representation, accurately reflecting the entire county, and one that truly represents all regions of our county--those who live and work in Raleigh, and those who live and work in the rural districts of our great county. Thank you, I stand in favor of Senate Bill 181. SPEAKER CHANGES Thank you very much. J.T. Knott Jr. is next, and on deck, David Kosar. SPEAKER CHANGES Mr. Chairman, committee, I'm J.T. Knott.
Speaker: I was born in eastern Wake County. I’ve lived in Wake County for 88 years. I grew up, and I served in World War II, in combat, in infantry combat. I was wounded, received the Purple Heart, came back to Wake County. For 12 years of my life, I was honored and had the privilege of serving as a Wake County Commissioner, from 1970 to 1982. I truly believe Wake County is the garden spot of the world, and this bill that’s before you, that’s put to you by Senator Barefoot will . . . has the means to keep it that way. Senator Barefoot’s bill is a way to give power back to its citizens. Senator Barefoot’s bill gives each County Commissioner direct authority to be responsible for a portion of Wake County. Senator Barefoot’s bill provides citizens from each district an opportunity to elect a County Commissioner to be their voice in their district of the county. The opportunity to elect their representative with no one else involved, makes Wake County Commissioners responsible to over a million people. Thank you. Speaker Change: Thank you, Mr. Knot, David Cosart next, Rachel Pear on deck. Speaker Change: Good afternoon, my name is David Cosart. I’m a lifelong resident of eastern Wake County. I currently reside in Wendell and I’ve been there for the last 30 years. I have experience in . . . over 30 years of experience . . . in process management and in large enterprises, and I support Senator Barefoot’s bill because I believe this is a better process. It’s a better process because it brings . . . it will allow us to have more accountability between our County Commissioners and the residents of eastern Wake County. Wake County is very diverse, with over a million residents, and it encompasses around 800 plus square acres of area. There’s a large difference between Wendell and Morrisville. I live in Wendell and I work in Morrisville, so I know. We need representation from eastern Wake County that will be accountable to us, so we need the geographic diversity that is outlined in the bill and I would appreciate your support. Speaker Change: Thank you very much. Rachel Pear is next, James West on deck. Speaker Change: My name is Rachel Pear and I live in eastern Wake County in the Knightdale community. Thank you, Mr Chairman and the members of the committee, for allowing me to come and speak in favor of Senate Bill 181. I was born in the city of Raleigh when the population was 40,000, so, needless to say, I have seen monumental changes take place. But, those changes are not restricted to the city of Raleigh. There are 12 municipalities in Wake County, and all of those municipalities and the communities surrounding them have experienced the same dramatic growth that Raleigh has, along with the benefit and the problems that come with that kind of growth. But fortunately, these towns and communities have been successful in maintaining their identity, which is a good thing. But, when people lose confidence in their elected officials that’s not a good thing. So it . . . common sense tells me that this bill is almost a no-brainer. We need to have representative.
Is there are a magnet to represent our communities throughout the evening with pounds from having to a contacts among digital no women doesn't know us know your neighbor of sirens you very strongly to pass this legislation(SPEAKER CHANGES) acre lot of games west bank's right wing on methadone to interview , senators up and James was to 01., commissioners observe the wall and see how select its sixth consecutive terms as mayor pro tem Como and new firms server divided equally and fairly middle of some real one and one is learned from last evening very selective saying that complex problems require divergent solutions and actually helping them find with this film and TV firms and I'm sure that there were many factors consideration will read and heard some of the formal five senses of initial, bill to growth calls it's our unfit parent of the points of using all the data that will show the bills are not real fact is if we look and act of that all the good graces here, and wait, I think we need to design an objective process a process that is collaborative one as befits a Tory one that will create involvement or Michigan and stamina, this is way too important in terms of erection of all, school and I think one is even more important this is not a top down carpool at Perot nothing to do check my record on Friday work with everybody in tracking gauge to revive two, government to stop some problems and help the people of this county and now we talk about districts would have around residential districts in a desolate purpose to make sure that they represented I'm not sure I think their way to make a better plan that we could also have people out in(SPEAKER CHANGES) additional district that would be residential and nature of the Mages close by saying that we need more information we have good government here and we tell me a call to service AAA rating great accountability and Winnie the pooh, so old and not define Mikhail Kelly please call slow when you can and fast would have to either the Donald didn't make this even about appeal thank you got much wears a big win next thing I could sing on a woman's right wing run away from borrowing parents, county public schools while I applaud your newfound interest and disenfranchised voters way was to impose rules and building one from the time of plaintiff in the case against the maple leafs one school board redistricting bill, which is basins yet to be resolved is profoundly of deferral cord was befitting an enrichment during the struggle for messing with their schools and account to descend into a PRI nice to gerrymandered redistricting map for a school's media like the election results to produce a new voice to minimize your gain you do like results of the 20 14th, selections sleep with smaller and schedule restrictions we all might be bins and as eBay and watching the new season house of cards $1.00 school is being busy playing around box job or is to raise money one dominant tone for school prayer amendment to rescind the mouth of $139.74 from a child's teacher photocopying machines already see their printing allotment which is already submitted by our PTA with boxed out some things one because you will provide enough money for textbooks please leave my school boards, commissions belong to go about the business of making up the deficiencies in your government comments that is going to look into jobs at 3:00 PM about the topic of a dollar from school or you'll stay one drawing wing politics play spending from expanding batteries education funds are wasting my tax dollars $8.00 and four things right here playing partisan political games you all might enjoy if I can possibly, and more to the next speaker, she exits from a one day job or bacon(SPEAKER CHANGES) Mr. Chair members of the committee and senators minus a conscience and I M away county commissioner and women recounting more from my stand to ask you to vote against senate bill 181 I find comfort senators in knowing that we share the same goal........................
...goals. Those goals include representing the people, and making quality decisions that represent those people. To satisfy those goals, one word comes to mind: that word is diversity. I believe it is time to move beyond the D's and the R's, to think about the diversity that the bodies are making these decisions, and from that perspective, the Wake County Commission represents the highest level of diversity that I can even possibly remember. In terms of age, income, gender, color, income, and life experiences this Wake County Commission is as diverse as we've ever had, truly representing the people of Wake County. To that end I believe we satisfy the goals that we share in common. If you are concerned about the representation that we now have 1 million people in Wake County, I would ask that you consider adding a couple of representatives to our board even though, let me remind this body that, there are counties in North Carolina of which a Senator does not even live such as in Franklin County. Senators, I believe that this is a solution looking for a problem, and I ask you to vote against Senate Bill 181. Thank you, sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. John Burns next. Matt Calabria on deck. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senators, my name is John Burns. I was elected in November of 2014 as a Wake County Commissioner. I was elected by 171,000 votes in Wake Country - from all across Wake County from Zebulon and Lindell all the way to Holly Springs. From Wake Forest all the way to Garner, and yes, including the city of Raleigh. I'm here to oppose this bill. I'm here to oppose this bill because it's unneeded. We are working very hard, Senator, on the Wake County Commission to have a collaborative process to work on what this county needs. We are working with the business community, we are working with rural and urban, Republican and Democrat alike. We're working on transit issues. We're working on human services delivery. We're working on ways to make this government more responsive to its people, something this body should consider doing. Senator Rucho, I've heard all the justifications for this bill: Not one of them is accurate, Senator. A 15 mile radius encompasses 706 square miles. That's about 100 square miles less than the entire Wake County. We have a residential district scheme. We must live in our districts to represent them. I was elected under the same scheme that elected my predecessor, Mr. Coble, who worked very hard for this county. I have appointed Republicans. I have appointed rural and urban residents alike to the boards that do the business of this county, and I ask you to allow the people of Wake County to continue to govern themselves because we're doing a darn good job of it. This is the place the people want to be. This is the economic engine of this state, and the more it is messed with with on high the more at risk you put those benefits. Now, I apologize for my attire, I found out about this hearing as I was on my way to a very important meeting at the Belk Arena at Davidson College, but I turned around and came back to speak to this issue less than 24 hours after this bill was submitted. This bill is a wrong bill. Add a member. Add two members, that's fine, I'll work with anybody. I'm looking forward to working with everybody, including the members in this room. We have a lot of work to do. This is NOT want needs to be done. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Mr. Calabria, you will be our last speaker. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Again, I'm Matt Calabria, I'm a Wake County Commissioner. I live in Fuquay-Varina, far from downtown Raleigh. I represent Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, and Garner, and all other municipalities in Wake County. I urge opposition to this bill because it doesn't reflect the will of Wake County's citizens. First, it seeks to gerrymander the districts for partisan purposes. Second, it'ss been a rushed process, and we've failed to be able to weigh in in the way that we ought to be able to weigh in on such an important bill. Third, it seeks to override local government, the government closest to the people. This bill doesn't achieve goals it purports to achieve with the respect to the financing piece and the fundraising piece. Certainly I appreciate Senator Barefoot's attempts to make my fundraising life easier, but we know that the size of the district does not correlate with the amount of money that has to be raised to win an election as Senator Barefoot's and many other General Assembly elections certainly demonstrate. Furthermore, every single voter in Wake County can vote in every single County Commission race. My phone rings whether you call me from Rolesville or Wendell or Wake Forest. We all represent Wake County. There's not a problem. There's been no demonstrable upswell. This isn't grassroots. It's astroturf.
Wake County citizens have spoken, and it’s absurd to oppose their voice, to thwart their voice, simply because we don’t like what they have to say. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you very much. That concludes the public hearing portion of today’s meeting. Members of the committee, I will say that on Tuesday March the 10th at 3:00, we will have an additional redistricting meeting. We will have some public comment, but the majority of the meeting will be dedicated to the members to discuss what they’ve heard today, what they will read over the weekend and over the period of time between now and the next meeting. There is a vehicle for written public comment and members of the committee, are there any specific questions either now or if you have them later, direct them to Ms. Churchill so that they can provide you the information that you need to make the best decision. Yes ma’am. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator Rucho, can I get clarification? You stated earlier that we needed to submit questions ahead of time. Does that pertain here? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Information or questions that you need to have some additional information from staff, so that you will be more knowledgeable. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Senator McKissick. Good to see you today. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Good to see you as always, Senator Rucho. We’ve been doing this a long time. In any case, Senator, just for purposes of clarification, I know the Wake County Representatives that spoke today and many others that contacted me in the last hour before the meeting began, did express some deep concern about not being aware that Wake County was going to be on the agenda today. I think almost everybody knew that Greensboro would there. So I’m, I understand you say earlier there will be public comment at the next meeting. Will that be specifically for say, Wake County persons who are concerned about this bill, to express their concerns or support? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well, there will be some time available for Greensboro and there will be some time available for Wake, and we will do what we can to make sure that as many folks as possible can provide their direct input. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Quick follow-up, Mr. Chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] About how long do you anticipate that meeting’s going, should we reserve our schedules for time? [SPEAKER CHANGES] It will be two hours, between 3 and 5. [SPEAKER CHANGES] And last follow-up, Mr. Chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I take it that normal process we’ve had is that any questions we have we can direct to staff or to the respective bill sponsors to get answer, at that particular time and I assume that’s the way we’re proceeding. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well you can ask a question at the meeting. You can ask them in advance, so that they can provide you the information early on, so that you come more knowledgeable to your next meeting, to be able to discuss the issues surrounding both of these bills. And hopefully we will be taking a vote on both bills on the next meeting. [SPEAKER CHANGES] The vote will be taken next meeting. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Committee vote next week. We will be voting on both of them. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] All right. Members of the committee, any additional questions? Staff, any additional comments? Mr. Vice Chairman, any comments? Okay. Well that being said, it was an informative meeting and if there are no additional thoughts or questions by committee, then this meeting is adjourned.