Gerrymandering bad for business in North Carolina
Prominent corporations and CEOs, as well as hundreds of thousands of citizens, have been pressuring lawmakers to repeal the discriminatory HB2. However, despite this intense public outcry, state lawmakers are likely to do nothing because of rigged districts that overwhelming favor incumbents. This is largely a result of state gerrymandering policies, that have allowed politicians to essentially guarantee victory in election after election. It's time to draw fair maps that create fair elections.
The troubling reality is that 90 percent of lawmakers voting in favor of the HB2 either face no competition in this fall's election or are running in such heavily gerrymandered districts that they are virtually guaranteed victory.
Over many decades, our state has been among the fastest-growing in the nation, with people from across the country and around the globe drawn to North Carolina as a place where innovation is embraced and businesses can thrive. We owe much of the prosperity here to moderate voices from a broad spectrum of political views, advanced by North Carolinians who have worked together to promote our state’s best interests.
However, that tradition of moderation and cooperation is jeopardized by gerrymandering, which has created an atmosphere where candidates have more incentive to speak to either the far left or far right than to seek a more centrist way.
“Compromise” should not be a dirty word in politics, but rather be a sign that principled people can find common ground on important issues. That’s why a growing number of civic leaders, along with a majority of voters across the state, support an independent process for redistricting in North Carolina.
Thankfully, many Republicans and Democrats join us in supporting a better way to draw our voting maps. Both Gov. Pat McCrory and Attorney General Roy Cooper have called for an end to gerrymandering. And just last year, a bipartisan majority of N.C. House members co-sponsored a bill to establish independent redistricting.
The effort for bipartisan collaboration on tackling gerrymandering in the state represents a step in productive direction for the General Assembly. One can only hope that the same efforts will be made in addressing HB2 bill and the repercussions it has for business owners and individuals in our state.