BROOKLYN, NY – Some New Yorkers are expressing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft cards for the Congressional, State Senate and Assembly voting districts. The groups are asking the public to influence the redistribution process, to ensure that the revised cards correctly represent voters.
Asher Ross, director of the “Mapping Our Future” campaign for the New York Immigration Coalition, said this week in a virtual chat that the move goes against the mission of the Independent Redistricting Commission: to provide a package. non-partisan and fully inclusive cards. of the public’s contribution.
“This process has not worked so far at this point,” Ross said. “And it’s very disturbing where it’s going to go from here and the ability of the board to provide fair maps.”
He pointed to Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, where members of the Arab community have advocated to prevent the division of their neighborhood, but fail to see their contribution reflected in the map projects.
Ross pointed out that hundreds of people have already shown up to the public hearings. There is still time to give testimony or attend the public hearings, which resume on October 20.
In some cases, audience input improved representation, such as with the Asian-American communities of Brooklyn and Queens.
Carlyn Cowen, policy and public affairs officer for the Chinese American Planning Council, noted that the redistribution has not served Asian-American communities well in the past. She said that even though they make up 10% of the state’s population and 15% in New York City, that is not reflected among elected officials.
“The representation we have at the state and congressional level is less than 3% at either level, which means people are not necessarily represented by people who look like them and represent their own. interests, “Cowen observed. “There are so many pressing issues facing our community. “
The Independent Constituency Commission must submit its final maps to the Legislature by Jan. 15. Cowen said it’s critical they understand the importance of where the neighborhood lines are drawn.
“The idea of fairness in the redistribution is not really partisan; Democrat, Republican,” Cowen argued. “It’s really about making sure that we are all represented by our districts and that we comply with the voting rights law.”
Source: New York News Connection