CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In a 10-1 vote Monday night, Charlotte City Council approved a new redistricting plan meant to relocate 30,000 residents to different districts in order to meet the state's requirement for a more equal population count across the city's seven districts.
But not everyone approves of the plan, especially residents in the Hidden Valley neighborhood, one of Charlotte's largest predominately African American communities.
Residents held signs that read "See you in court" and "See you at the polls" as well as dressed in PPE at the City Council meeting to protest and make their voices and concerns heard.
“We are in smocks today because our politicians are contaminated with corruption and we are going in here to make a statement tonight," Hidden Valley resident Cedric Dean said. “We are making a clear statement that we believe these maps to be gerrymandered.”
The approved plan requires those who live in Hidden Valley to be reassigned from District 4 to District 1. Many believe the move is racially motivated.
The majority of City Council members disagree.
“The recommended plan also increases the Black vote by 7% and the Democratic (Party) vote by 5% in District 1," District 4 City Council member Renee Johnson said. "This plan could actually strengthen our influence on the city as Black voters."
City Councilman Braxton Winston was the only one to vote 'no' to the redistricting plan.
“The committee, staff and consultants have all agreed they did not consider issues of equity in our approach and this is regrettable," Councilman Winston said.
In response to the redistricting approval came action from Hidden Valley residents who have already filed a lawsuit in federal court.
They say they also plan to take their voices to the ballot box, too.
“Election time we’re organizing and you have got to get out of the way," Hidden Valley Association leader Charles Robinson said.