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INSIDE YOUR LEGISLATIVE BODY 2018 Special Edition

Since our last update, federal courts ruled on both congressional and state legislative redistricting in North Carolina, and lawmakers returned to Raleigh earlier this month for another special session. Beginning with some good news, here’s what we know:

State Legislative Redistricting

Last week a federal three-judge panel ruled in favor of adopting state legislative district maps drawn by the court-appointed special master. This is a big deal!

It’s a big deal because these federal courts have now officially affirmed that state legislative maps used in previous election cycles were unconstitutionally and racially gerrymandered. This means we are closing in on more favorable legislative district lines that will give voters in this year’s midterm election the opportunity to vote for candidates that more accurately reflect the “one person, one vote” doctrine.

Congressional Redistricting

Earlier this month, a federal judge panel ruled that the state’s 2016 Congressional district maps were partisanly gerrymandered and thus unconstitutional. Originally, this meant the 2016 Congressional maps could not be used in the upcoming 2018 elections, requiring legislators to redraw the maps and create fair districts by the end of January.

The anti-women’s health legislative majority were not pleased with the court’s decision, and in a power grabbing effort, the GOP appealed to the Supreme Court asking for an emergency stay on the federal maps until there’s a decision on the Wisconsin and Maryland partisan gerrymandering cases. In particular, the Wisconsin case has the potential to reshape the political landscape nationally.

However, late last week, the Supreme Court decided that the lawmakers do not have to immediately redraw district lines. Effectively, this means the 2016 unconstitutional, partisan gerrymandered congressional maps will be used in the 2018 elections. Planned Parenthood Votes! South Atlantic is deeply disappointed in this decision and will continue to call for fair and just representation for all North Carolinians.

Special Session

With all of the action taking place around maps in the courts, lawmakers have seemingly kept quiet in the North Carolina General Assembly. We don’t anticipate many legislative actions before the short budget session convenes in May, but we are keeping an eye out on state judicial reform and whether district judge appointees should be “merit based,” and if a constitutional amendment should concern the state judicial process.

Despite the unknowns and political turmoil at the General Assembly, we remain dedicated to fighting any legislation that works to limit voter participation and engagement. Voting rights are directly connected to women’s reproductive freedom, and with your support we will keep fighting for both.

In solidarity,

Lindsay Robinson
NC Director of Public Affairs

 

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SheVille Team

We are a one-of-a-kind magazine that provides local, regional, national and international information about women’s lives and education, performing and visual arts and writing, the environment, green living and sustainability and regional Western North Carolina business, people and events. “Villages preserve culture: dress, food and dance are a few examples. As villages grow in population and turn into towns, local cafes make way for large American chains. Handmade leather sandals are discarded for a pair of Western sneakers. Due to its small size, a village fosters a tight-knit sense of community. Justpeace.org explains the meaning of the African proverb, “It takes a village,” by stating that a sense of community is critical to maintaining a healthy society. Village members hold a wealth of information regarding their heritage: they know about the ancient traditions, methods of production and the resources of the land. When villages become dispersed or exterminated in times of war, this anthropological knowledge disappears. Large cities are not as conducive to growing and producing foods such as fruits and vegetables. Villages, on the other hand, usually have ample amounts of land and other resources necessary for growing conditions.” The Importance of Villages by Catherine Capozzi Our Mission SheVille.org provides readers with information important to women’s lives and well-being. We focus primarily on the areas of education & health, business & finance, the arts & the environment. We are particularly interested in local & regional resources, organizations & events.
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