Public Hearing for Redistricting New Bern’s Wards

New Bern Redistricting Potential Changes
New Bern Redistricting Potential Changes (screenshot from

The City of New Bern is redistricting the Wards and they’re holding a public hearing on September 28, 2021, during the Board of Aldermen (BOA) meeting.

Why redistrict?

According to the NC G.S. Governing Municipal Redistricting:

G.S. 160A-23(b) “The council shall have authority to revise electoral district boundaries from time to time. . . (ii) correcting population imbalances among districts shown by a new federal census”

G.S. 160A-23.1 “As soon as possible after receipt of federal decennial census information, the council of any city which elects the members of its governing board on a district basis, or where candidates for such office must reside in a district in order to run, shall evaluate the existing district boundaries to determine whether it would be lawful to hold the next election without revising districts to correct population imbalances”.

How can you participate in the process?

Attend the meeting and assist elected officials by letting them know what boundaries you think should be kept together within a Ward. If neighborhoods are large and need to be separated you can share your thoughts on the most appropriate places to be split.

GIS Manager Alice Wilson presented an initial review of redistricting to the BOA during their work session on June 15, 2021.

The presentation was informative and extensive. Things to consider:

– Don’t try and make all wards equal in population, the City doesn’t grow equally by ward. Consider growth

– Do stay under the 10% deviation rule

– Make boundaries easy to distinguish or follow topography, roads, neighborhood boundaries Accessibility

– No retrogression — make sure to consider African American blocks

During the presentation, she also showed maps from the last redistricting on March 2012. See the changes made from 2010 here:

New Bern Redistricting 2010 and 2012 maps
New Bern Redistricting 2010 and 2012 maps (screenshot from

Read the presentation by clicking here or watch the entire presentation:

The BOA had a discussion on redistricting during their last meeting on September 14, 2021. Watch at the 27:50 minute mark:

The City is printing large maps for residents to pick up and review prior to the public hearing on Tuesday, September 28 at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Courtroom. When maps are available, you can pick them up at City Hall, West New Bern Recreation Center, the Customer and Payments Service Office (“CAPS” where one pays utility bills), and at the New Bern-Craven County Public Library.

Learn more about New Bern’s Redistricting and view the potential, interactive map here.

Share your thoughts with us by sending an email.

By Wendy Card