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.

Excerpted from the Initiative & Referendum Almanac by M. Dane Waters.