Kapoor: Voters Showed AVL Districts Not Necessary
Asheville City Council member Vijay Kapoor was critical of the North Carolina legislature for moving towards forcing districts on the city of Asheville. Speaking with BPR's Jeremy Loeb, the councilman of south Asheville said his election shows that voters from anywhere in the city are fully capable of being represented on council under the current system. And he added that voters overwhelmingly rejected the idea of districts in a voter referendum.
The legislature is seeking input on criteria for a map for Asheville city council members from the public. The idea was pushed by Republican Senator Chuck Edwards of Hendersonville, who represents a small part of south Asheville. The idea was opposed by every other Asheville-area lawmaker, all Democrats, as well as Asheville mayor Esther Manheimer and the city council. Edwards did not respond to requests for an interview with BPR. But he has said that voters from south Asheville complained to him that they weren't being represented on city council. However, that argument took a hit when Kapoor got the most votes in the most recent city council election. Critics say Edwards' real goal is to make it easier for Republicans to be elected in the heavily-Democratic city.
Kapoor says this is an issue of voter rights, which he calls 'sacred.' And he says if the rights of the voters of Asheville comes under attack, he will defend them, through litigation if necessary. Kapoor spoke to BPR at length about the districts proposal, about the Asheville budget, and the infamous Asheville police beating video. The full interview is above.