North Carolina Newspapers

    2A OOO
NEWS^e C^atlone
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Resistance to election changes
Fairness, cost
of at-large
races at issue
Continued from page 1A
wouldn’t be able to win at-
large elections or raise
money to run at large.”
Bess Obiorah,
chair of the
Black Political
echoes those
response I’ve
been getting is folks aren’t
buying into it,” she said.
“The task force was crafted
to deal with suburbanites.
Some of the issues people in
our communities aren’t
helped in that report.”
The League of Women
Voters of Charlotte-
Mecklenburg, which
released a report last week
challenging the proposals,
will host a panel discussion
March 30 at 6:30 p.m. at the
Main Library at 310 N.
Tiyon St. The report criti
cized the task force initiative
as an effort to “diminish
grassroots and district repre-
sentatiori, th^:efore imder-
mining optimal democratic
representation and accotmt-
Obiorah said electing dis
trict-nominated candidates
through an at-large cam
paign runs counter to com
munity representation. By
forcing candidates to run
co\mtywide, she contends,
race and income become
larger factors.
Historically, black candi
dates have fared poorly in at-
large races, al^ough
Meckleaiburg Commissioner
Vdlhelmenia Rembert was
elected twice at large, includ
ing one school board cam
paign. Former CMS board
chair Arthm Griffin also won
at-large races.
“They’re trying to make it
district-specific, but you
have a problem with at-large
races,” she said,’You’re going
to dilute the votes of minori
ties and folks in some dis
tricts. Those districts, in
effect, aren’t being repre-
Gantt acknowledges the
concerns of black voters, but
co\mters that the proposal
would likely move the school
board to the center.
Moderate candidates -
regardless of district, race or
politics - would stand a bet
ter chance of winning, he
“The structure by nature
forces candidates to be more
circvimspect about what’s
going on in the rest of the
Tuskegee, Ala., Mayor Johnny Ford, Henretta Anderson, chair of the Tuskegee Area
Chamber of Commerce and Catherine Light, supervisor of the National Park Service heiped
break ground for the new headquarters for the Negro Airmen internatlonai headquarters.
Home of Tuskegee Airmen to host
national black pilots association
Negro Airman International is relocating its
headquarters fiom Savannah, Ga., to Moton
Field in Tliskegee, Ala., where the legendary
TUskegee Airmen trained.
NAI made the announcement at a recent
ground breaking ceremony for the new site at
Moton Field Municipal Airport.
“The City of Tbskegee is elated that NAI has
decided to locate their headquarters at Moton
Field,” said Tbskegee Mayor Johnny Ford, who
added the move would make Moton “a mar
velous destination point.”
Established in 1967, NAI’s goal is furthering
State laws hit predatory lenders
Continued from page 1A
ber of loans available. That
refutes industry claims that
legislation chokes off credit in
the subprime mortgage mar
ket, where people with credit
problems borrow and where
most predatory loiders oper
The study found that bor
rowers in states with predato
ry lending regulation pay
about the same or even low^
interest rates for subprime
Legislation pending in
Congress would erase state
laws and replace them with a
federal law introduced by
Rep, Bob Ney (R-Ohio).
The CRL, consumer groups,
civil ri^ts organizations and
unions are supporting a bOl
co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Mel
Watt (D-N.C.), that woxild
beef up federal predatory
lending statutes and let states
go further if necessary to pro
tect consumers.
‘Tor years, the debate over
predatory lending has been
conducted in an information
vacuum, said Keith Ernst,
senica' policy coimsel at the
district,” said Gantt,
Charlotte’s first - and only -
black mayor “If you don’t,
you don’t have a very good
chance of winning,”
The League of Women
Votei^ report also raised con
cerns about the cost of run
ning at large and the pro
posed appointment of a sev
enth school board memb^
by county commissioners.
“There would be a substan
tial increase in the cost of
running for office: besides
campaigning across the dis
trict to be elected to the
School Board, the successful
candidate must campaign
throughout the county — six
times the size of a district.”
The league also concluded
that commissioners would
have undue influence
assigning an appointed
member to an elected school
“If the County Commission
appoints the seventh School
Board member, a partisan
body would be choosing a
member of a non-partisan
body This arrangement also
could raise questions about
loyalty and accountability”
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black participation in aviation
“We have always had a facility here and
throughout, the people of Ttiskegee have
always opened their doors to us. Moving our
headquarters here gives us an enhanced
opportunity to conduct all of our operations in
this historic spot,” said Sam Jones, NAI’s pres
In addition to hosting its Memorial Day Fly-
In, Jones said the relocation offers:
• FH^t training programs
• More classroom space for training
• A general aviation museum
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Center for Responsible
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the study “Now we know,
beyond a doubt, that these
laws work, and that they
don’t harm consumers. We
are at a whde new stage in
the debate.”
The C^ter for Responsible
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CRL report:
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