CMS Board moves Cherry and Elizabeth precinct back into District 4

CHARLOTTE — In a rare move, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education unanimously voted Tuesday night to make a change to something that passed weeks ago.

Residents who typically vote at St. John’s Baptist in Elizabeth on Election Day will be impacted.

Through the redistricting process, the CMS board originally moved Precinct 2 from District 4 into District 5. Precinct 2 is home to Cherry, Midtown and some Elizabeth residents.

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District 4 Rep. Carol Sawyer drew the original map and says there was no political or racial intent. Sawyer said her goal in creating the map was to move Matthews into a single district and keep the district sizes as close to the same as possible.

“Unfortunately, the controversy about Precinct 2 has become a distraction that is pulling the board and community’s attention away from student outcomes,” Sawyer said.

Sawyer said in numerous public hearings, a board workshop, and a community forum hosted by the Black Political Caucus that no community or board members raised any concerns about the assignment of Precinct 2.

Board Member Jennifer De La Jara echoed that sentiment and encouraged people to pay attention to meetings and speak up early in the process.

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“I am a little worried about the precedent that may be set by doing this tonight,” she said.

School Board members said it was community feedback after the vote that led to the rare CMS reversal. Some of the community’s focus has been centered on Black Political Caucus Chair Stephanie Sneed, who lives in Precinct 2 and previously ran for the seat. Sneed said she has no intention of doing so again at this time but is happy to be back in District 4.

“I think that the community spoke, and it was the community pressure that made the change,” she said.

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