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Five standout speeches from North Carolina’s final public hearing on redistricting

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Five standout speeches from North Carolina’s final public hearing on redistricting

Sep 28, 2023 | 9:54 am ET
By Clayton Henkel
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Five standout speeches from North Carolina’s final public hearing on redistricting
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Karen Alexander of Johnston County addresses the redistricting committee. (Photo: NCGA videostream)

It might be easy to think the average person doesn’t know or doesn’t really care what legislative district they live in. But North Carolinians both young and old proved that was not the case Wednesday as they patiently waited their turn to speak up for democracy and reject efforts to further gerrymander the state’s voting districts.

Charles Bennett from the Sandhills urged lawmakers to draw the lines without giving in to the temptation of cheating, remembering that North Carolina is in fact a purple state:


Eric Willoughby, a 17-year-old from Huntersville, drove two-and-a-half hours, to speak out against maps that were being crafted out of the public’s views to further cement the majority party’s control on policy:

There was Karen Alexander from Johnston County. She was there to speak for her ancestors who were denied the right to vote, and her grandchildren who will be voting in the not too distant future:

Linda Archer from Guilford County told legislators she thought she had moved to ‘crazy town’ when she heard how often North Carolina’s maps were being redrawn for partisan gain. Just think of how the money could be put to better use, without having to litigate each new gerrymander, she advised:

Finally, there was Mahlaynee Cooper, the founder of Speak Ya Peace NC, who came from Wilmington to deliver an original anti-gerrymandering poem entitled ‘Enough is Enough’:

Read the full coverage of Wednesday’s redistricting hearing from NC Newsline’s Lynn Bonner.