The House chamber at the N.C. General Assembly. Photo by Angie Newsome

Now that the 2010 U.S. Census is complete, the North Carolina General Assembly is following its legal mandate to examine redrawing North Carolina’s U.S. House district and its state Senate and House districts.

Notable trends revealed by the 2010 U.S. Census data include the fact that Mitchell County is the only one of the 17 westernmost North Carolina counties with a population that has declined in the past decade. Counties with the fastest-growing populations in Western North Carolina were Buncombe, Henderson, Jackson and Clay counties.

Redistricting changes how citizens are represented, so North Carolina legislators are holding public hearings across the state to get comments from constituents.

In Western North Carolina, two public hearings are scheduled at 4 p.m., April 30 in:

  • Buncombe County in the 129 Steelcase Teleconference Room at Robinson Hall at University of North Carolina-Asheville, and
  • Jackson County in Room 133-B of the Cordelia Camp Building at 69 East University Way at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.
  • There are specific guidelines for sharing public comments at these meetings. People will be allowed to speak no more than five minutes. At the public hearing sites, registration to comment will begin one hour before the hearings start and will close before the hearings begin.

    People also can register to speak by going online five days in advance of the hearing. Online registration to speak will close 24 hours in advance of the hearing and there are limited slots for the on-line sign-up.

    Explore more 2010 U.S. Census data about counties in Western North Carolina and statewide by visiting our post with an interactive map.

    Visit the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 Census Data site for more state and national data.

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    Kathleen O'Nan is a contributing reporter to Carolina Public Press.

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