Vote Yes Fayetteville

FACTS AND FICTION

FACTS

  • Why Now? We have to start collecting 5,000 signatures now in order to have enough time to collect them, present to the Board of Elections for a review of every signature to ensure authenticity, have the petition go through the required City Council meetings, and then have time to get it on the November ballot. While there is discussion of moving the November election, it has not been moved thus far, and we have to work with a November date in mind.
  • What Does the Current Structure Not Do That Requires this Action? Having nine single-member districts in a ten-person City Council means that nine out of ten persons are often more focused on their own district’s concerns, than on citywide issues.  As a result, major policy issues are too often postponed — such as police personnel shortages, unresolved storm-water issues, and the economic vitality of our city..
    • For example, we are currently understaffed by 61 sworn police officers, up from 59 just two months ago. This represents about 14% of the budgeted sworn positions. Yet in 2020, we had 34 murders in Fayetteville — a 25% increase over the previous year — and an all-time high for our City. There have been few, if any, policy discussions at the Council level to correct this situation. This is a clear example of a lack of focus on the broad issues that impact our entire city.
    • Google search results – Fayetteville, NC Crime Rates (3/30/2021 search results)
      • With a crime rate of 44 per one thousand residents, Fayetteville has one of the highest crime rate in American compared to all communities of all sizes. (www.neighborhoodscout.com)
      • Fayetteville crime rates are 77% higher than the national average. Violet crimes are in Fayetteville are 131% higher than the national average. (www.areavibes.com)
  • Diversity. Fayetteville is one of the state’s most diverse cities and has consistently elected African American candidates in At Large elections for over two decades.
    • In eight of the past 20 years, our city was led by an African American mayor.
    • Our current County Commission Chairman is an African American elected at large by the entire county.  The Cumberland County Sheriff is also an African American elected at large by the whole county.
    • Of the total of 121,333 registered voters in Fayetteville, 44.9% (54,485) are Black and 33% (40,224) are white.
  • Other Government Models. The vast majority of local governments in North Carolina are made up of a combination of both At Large and single member districts.
    • 9 of the 12 largest cities in North Carolina have some version of At Large and District seats.
    • The Cumberland County Board of Commissioner, the Cumberland County School Board, the Town of Hope Mills and the Town of Spring Lake all have At Large members as part of their governing bodies.

FICTION

  • The current system is working. The current system works well because the people know who represents them and who can be held accountable.

This is a FICTION because:  The current district map has been gerrymandered into contortions that are, at best, confusing to the voters, splitting numerous neighborhoods and communities of interest. Districts 2, 4, 5, 7 & 8 are confusing and cause many voting precincts to be split between council districts adding to voter confusion.

  • District representation gives me more voice.  A fair “rule of thumb” is that people are most concerned for their immediate surroundings. An at-large representative will most likely have his or her home district as first priority.

This is a FICTION because:  Under a 5/4 model (???? nine council members and the mayor), you will be able to elect six of the city council members. You currently can elect only 20%. Having six of the ten council members directly responsible to you will help ensure better representation.

  • Remaining Five Districts will be Too Large. Converting to only five single-member districts will result in districts that are too large.

This is a FICTION because:  Population per council-member district is much higher in most cities in North Carolina, as you see here:

  • Charlotte – 83,000 per council member in a district
  • Raleigh – 60,000 per council member in a district
  • Greensboro – 46,000 per council member in a district
  • Durham – 66,000 per council member in a district
  • Fayetteville – 22,000 per council member in 9 districts

FAQ

  • The current system works well because the people know who represents them and who can be held accountable.

The current district map has been gerrymandered into contortions that are, at best, confusing to the voters, splitting numerous neighborhoods and communities of interest. Districts 2, 4, 5, 7 & 8 are confusing and cause many voting precincts to be split between council districts adding to voter confusion.

  • A fair “rule of thumb” is that people are most concerned for their immediate surroundings. An at-large representative will most likely have his or her home district as first priority.

Under a 5/4 model (nine council members and the mayor), you will be able to elect six of the city council members. You currently can elect only 20%. Having six of the ten council members directly responsible to you will help ensure better representation.

  • Converting to only five single-member districts will result in districts that are too large.

Population per council member districts is much higher in most cities in North Carolina.

  • Charlotte – 83,000 per council member in a district
  • Raleigh – 60,000 per council member in a district
  • Greensboro – 46,000 per council member in a district
  • Durham – 66,000 per council member in a district
  • Fayetteville – 22,000 per council member in 9 districts