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Charlotte City Council votes to approve redistricting for 16 different voter precincts

Precincts in the Hidden Valley community of Charlotte that are currently in District 4, will move to District 1, which includes communities like Plaza Midwood and Myers Park.
Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 6:34 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2021 at 4:16 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A major vote passed 10-1 for redistricting in Charlotte on Monday night. 16 voter precincts will now move to different districts.

Precincts in the Hidden Valley community of Charlotte that are currently in District 4, will move to District 1, which includes communities like Plaza Midwood and Myers Park.

“The people have a voice, and they have a choice to pick their politicians, rather than their politicians picking them,” Charlene Henderson told WBTV.

Henderson, along with Cedric Dean, are suing the City of Charlotte over redistricting that they are calling gerrymandering.

The lawsuit says in the past 10 years, District 1 has voted for all white representatives, whereas District 4 has voted for all black representatives.

According to the 2020 census, the population of Hidden Valley was about 63 percent African American.

Iola Gardner, who has lived in Hidden Valley for 20 years, says she is ready to defend the neighborhood she loves and stand up for racial fairness.

“If we told Myers Park, District 1, that they were moving to District 4, it would make it all the way to the governor’s office,” Gardner said. “They would be on it. So why can’t our concerns be addressed just as well as theirs?” `

Down the street from Gardner, Johnny Campbell shares similar concerns.

“I’ve lived here since Oct. 22, 1981,” Campbell said.

He’s seen the neighborhood go through ups and downs, but few things frustrate him more than this redistricting.

“Why are you messing with something for somebody to gain something on the other side?” he said. “We’re not dummies. We know what you’re doing. So someone can gain votes. And it’s a racist thing.”

They say they want their voices to be heard and their votes to count.

“If we don’t get to have the candidates that are gonna speak for our community needs, it’s not gonna work well for us,” Gardner said. “It’s gonna bulldoze, just like they did all the other black Historic communities in Charlotte.”

Some neighbors also told WBTV they were not aware of the public input opportunities, so they are hopeful this vote will be delayed.

Councilmember Renee Johnson who represents District 4 chose not to comment ahead of the meeting.

WBTV also reached out to the City of Charlotte for comment, but was told by a spokesperson that they cannot comment on pending litigation.

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