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History of Initiative & Referendum in North Carolina

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History of Initiative and Referendum in North Carolina

Though unsuccessful at the state level, initiative and referendum backers managed by 1917 to persuade the legislature to grant local I&R powers to the citizens of nine North Carolina cities.

In 1977 voters in Charlotte passed an initiative sponsored by civil rights activists to change the system of at-large city council elections (which had previously guaranteed domination of the council by white businessmen) to one of district representation. In Wilmington, voters put an initiative on the ballot for the first time in a special election held on June 29,1982. By a margin of nearly two to one, they approved an ordinance to change the zoning laws to prohibit construction of a planned coal storage facility.

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This was taken directly from with permission from the I&R Institute whose research was based on David Schmidt's book, Citizen Lawmakers: The Ballot Initiative Revolution.