Behind the Lines: Green Eyeshade Submission
There is perhaps no more important task in the political arena than redistricting. It is wonky, it is a mouthful, and it is the ultimate exercise in cultivating political power.
Every decade, state lawmakers across the country embark on the process of taking the latest U.S. Census data to draw new Congressional and legislative districts that are proportional. The process is steeped in partisanship, and is nearly as old as the Republic itself. Redistricting is a benchmark of Democracy, although the all-too-often accompanying practice of Gerrymandering is quite undemocratic.
North Carolina is an American epicenter for battles over redistricting. On several occasions since 1991, these disputes have ascended to the U.S. Supreme Court. Despite being an evenly divided state politically, North Carolina has in recent years had some of the most convoluted districts in America. And these maps have been ruled unconstitutional time, and time again.
Behind The Lines takes an arcane legislative process and turns it into an imperative civics lesson. By weaving together historical context, personal narratives, perspectives about the merits of reform, and fresh reporting on what is happening during the current redistricting cycle, listeners gain a much deeper understanding and knowledge of what is taking place at their state legislature, how it has contributed to extremism in American politics beyond the North Carolina state border, and the potential next steps.
This series serves a reference guide not only for politicos and those inside the proverbial state government bubble, but also for North Carolinians who want to better understand a political exercise that continues to have a direct impact on their lives. Behind The Lines serves as a reference guide, still, as the 2021 redistricting saga in North Carolina plods through the courts, and has pushed back the 2022 primary election.
Stated simply, the relevance of this reporting will serve as a valuable resource for the foreseeable future. And that is real public service journalism.