Don't Forget the City Councils

There is going to be a special election next year and that is a big deal. Many observers have pointed out that it may not necessarily be a boon for Democrats across the state. The Republican legislature will have the opportunity to draw even better maps for themselves and may attempt to draw out rising stars and double-bunk current legislators.

It will probably be a few months before we know exactly what the new lines will look like. Until then, we don’t know if any new opportunities for Democratic wins will arise in the legislature. But we do know for certain that municipalities across NC will be holding elections next year and we know what those lines look like.

As we’re thinking about the political landscape next year and pondering strategy, we shouldn’t forget the City Councils. National and State elections are critical, but our prospects there in the short term aren’t great. Thanks to Trump and a Republican legislature, we can’t expect to see progress coming from the National Government any time soon. Even though Cooper appears to have won, Republicans still have a large majority in the legislature and are still in charge of drawing the lines. We should fight, but progress is going to be hard to come by in State Government.

City Councils may be our best bet to enact progressive change in North Carolina. And – maybe – the special election could help drive up Democratic turnout and improve our chances in local races.

I’m not saying we should view the legislative races with any less importance. But if we push progressive candidates at the municipal level we may be able to promote good policy from the ground up, empower strong voices for change across the state and build the bench for later years.



Municipal elections on my mind, too

I ran for Alderman last year against some well-entrenched incumbents, and lost (miserably). Extremely low turnout (about 11%) didn't help me at all, because most of those voters had chosen my opponents previously, and weren't interested in change of any sort.

I really like the two folks I would be running against in 2017, if I chose to do so. That being said, this special election thing may be an opportunity I can't afford to miss...

Could be high turnout for a municipal election

This could be a high turnout election for a municipal election, since those local elections in odd numbered years don't usually have this bigger stuff going on. And the larger the election, with more of a spotlight on it, often the larger and more diverse the electorate is. I think that is good for our democracy and could give this election some surprising results.

Republicans drew themselves the best possible map in 2010

there's little chance a new map could be worse for Democrats. And with just 2 House seats needed to break the Republican super majority, Governor Cooper's veto power could be put to good use if Democrats stick together.

Getting candidates to run in local municipal elections is very important. Those most divisive social issues that Republicans use to bash state and federal-level Dems are not as applicable at the local level, where infrastructure, schools, jobs, and running a competent local government tend to fall right into Democrats' wheelhouse.


I read the ruling was appealed. When are we likely to hear from Supreme Court on of they'll take it. And would the close dates in this ruling cause them to consider taking/not taking before they get a 9th?

With the coming age of

With the coming age of republicans? What on earth can I do with them? I worked with Elgernon last two months and I'm fed up with them! Who the hell is thinking he can rule the Supreme Court?
Sam J - local attorney, cases studies researcher.