A coalition of advocacy groups spanning the political spectrum and a bipartisan group of state legislators held a press conference today to unveil their proposal (H-824) for North Carolina to adopt a nonpartisan redistricting commission similar to the one used for decades in Iowa. The press conference featured chief sponsors Rep. Rick Glazier and Rep. David Lewis, other speakers and two legislators from Iowa, piped in via Skype. It’s too late for us to use the Iowa model this year – even though North Carolina has the distinction of being the nation’s epicenter of partisan bickering over map drawing. We’ll likely see another round of legal wrangling as new state maps using the 2010 Census get drawn up by the Republican majority in the General Assembly. Their work is slowly moving forward. The first of a dozen public hearings on the shape of new legislative and Congressional districts is set for Wednesday at 3 pm at the Museum of History, with satellite locations at the Nash Community College and Roxboro’s Piedmont Community College campus. There are no proposed maps to critique, but a special General Assembly website is brimming with loads of information and forms for public comment. On Thursday, you can hear a distinguished panel talk about how to move North Carolina along the path of achieving an independent redistricting process; sign up for the luncheon panel in Raleigh with the NC Center for Voter Education.