NC business owners form coalition to fight gerrymandering

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Gloria (WTVD)

Business owners gathered at Trophy Brewing in Raleigh to announce a new coalition called "NC Business Leaders for Accountability." They say their goal is to end political gerrymandering in North Carolina.

More than 50 business owners are part of the coalition which has joined forces with Common Cause North Carolina, a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging citizen participation in democracy.

"Let's take advantage of this perfect timing, get a bill through the North Carolina legislature in 2017, get it on the North Carolina ballot in 2018, where it will pass because 70 or 80 percent of North Carolinians are for this. [We will] have our first elections on fairly-drawn districts in 2020," said Trophy Brewing co-owner David Meeker. Meeker said gerrymandering by both Democrats and Republicans has allowed passage of bills that don't represent what citizens want, such as House Bill 2.

According to the Visitor's Bureau, Wake County's overall HB2 economic losses now total nearly $8 million.

David Meeker also owns Busy Bee Café.

"So we have another restaurant that's 3 or 4 blocks from the convention center," Meeker said. "No new conventions are booking there because of House Bill 2, which is a product of gerrymandering. And business has been affected there and will continue to be affected there until it's fixed."

Members of the coalition say they're working with politicians to bring about change.

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