For 10 years Charles Meeker was one of the best mayors Raleigh ever had. He has always been a clear thinker, so I was not surprised to read his concise, thoughtful March 28 Point of View “Maps, mockeries and empowering the middle” on the national disgrace of gerrymandering. He is absolutely correct: politicians are electing politicians.
Thus far we’ve had a lot of hand-wringing and woeful laments about what to do. In contrast, Meeker presents a sensible – hopefully doable – plan to amend the state constitution to require that General Assembly staff redraw legislative districts using strict non-partisan criteria. He also proposes switching to the top-two primary system in order to minimize the influence of extremes in both parties. And, finally, he wants to create a citizens’ commission to fine-tune the new system as needed.
All I can say is bravo! This is a sensible plan that Democrats and Republicans can all get behind. They’ll have to or there’s no hope of rooting out the entrenched legislators who’ve spent years feathering their own nests, while allowing our politics to degenerate to the point of anarchy. We have them to thank for ballots this fall that will closely resemble a Soviet bloc ballot in the good old days of the Cold War.
President, Jan Karski Educational Foundation