Issues: Voter Protection

Andrew Cuomo, the press and the war on redistricting

Capital New York wrote about redistricting reform and supports Governor Cuomo's promise to create an independent redistricting commission and to veto any legislation creating a partisan redistricting panel.

Fresh off reaching an agreement on his first budget, Andrew Cuomo, flanked by legislative leaders, said, with deliberate exaggeration, "I hope this is the template for a new era of cooperation and productivity between the executive and the legislature. I'm hoping that this spirit of love and euphoria that I feel is infectious and grows and continues. Do you feel it, Dean? Do you feel it, Shelly?"

April 1, 2011
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Capital Tonight Interview on Census Numbers

Senator Gianaris was on YNN's Capital Tonight with Liz Benjamin to discuss the severe census under-count and the push for independent redistricting.

March 30, 2011
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Little consensus on redistricting

The Legislative Gazette writes about the various redistricting reform proposals that have been introduced in recent weeks and months, including my redistricting reform bill.

There are legislative redistricting proposals emanating from both parties in both houses, and from the executive branch, with little consensus on how reform should be accomplished.

March 24, 2011
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Our view: Don’t delay commission on redistricting

The Utica Observer-Dispatch editorialized on redistricting reform and the importance of passing Governor Cuomo's redistricting reform bill  as opposed to introducing the issue as a constitutional amendment, which requires a much lengthier process and would not get the much-needed reform done now.

A plan by state Senate Republicans to create an independent commission to redraw district lines through a constitutional amendment is little more than an attempt to derail real reform.

Contact state legislators and tell them to reject it.

March 24, 2011
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Queens Pols Push Reform Agenda In Busy Start To Legislative Session --PATCH

Newly elected Sens. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, and Michael Gianaris, D-Astoria, hope to mix things up in Albany

By Paul Leonard

It's been an active three months for two newly elected Queens state senators.

Whether it was term limits, ethics reform or the push for non-partisan legislative redistricting, every week seemed to bring another bill introduced by Sens. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, and Michael Gianaris, D-Astoria — both elected last November as part of an injection of new blood into a chamber known as being resistant to change....

...Both Avella and Gianaris agreed that it was the Republican majority in the state Senate that was responsible for a lack of results on the reformist agenda that helped propel both of them into office.

March 16, 2011
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Critics: Senate Redistricting Bill Inadequate --WXXI March 14, 2011

Critics: Senate Redistricting Bill Inadequate

By Karen Dewitt 

ALBANY, NY (WXXI) - Senate Republicans and Democrats argued over the issue of redrawing new district lines Monday, as pressure mounts on the Senate GOP to adopt a plan for an independent commission soon.

Senate Republicans approved a plan that would change the state's constitution to require that new district lines be drawn by a non -partisan commission. Senate sponsor John Bonacic says he picked up the bill from previous sponsors in earlier decades because it's the most comprehensive solution.

March 15, 2011
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REBROADCAST-Senator Gianaris to be a Guest on WAMC's "Capitol Connection"

Senator Michael Gianaris will be on WAMC’s “Capitol Connection” hosted by Alan Chartock on Friday, March 18 at 10:30 pm and Saturday, March 19 at 1:00 pm. The Senator will continue to discuss the need for redistricting reform and for Senate Republicans to keep their campaign promise to pass the pledge for reform.

March 19, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
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Senator Gianaris to be a Guest on WAMC's "Capitol Connection"

Senator Michael Gianaris will be on WAMC’s “Capitol Connection” hosted by Alan Chartock on Friday, March 18 at 10:30 pm and again Saturday, March 19 at 1:00 pm. The Senator will continue to discuss the need for redistricting reform and for Senate Republicans to keep their campaign promise to pass the pledge for reform.

March 18, 10:30 PM - 11:59 PM
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Redistricting Debate Roils Senate--Albany Times Union

Today the Times Union reported on yesterday's session debate regarding the fight to bring redistrticting reform to the floor. 

ALBANY -- Senate Republicans on Tuesday rejected the Democratic minority's attempt to push for a public hearing on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's redistricting bill. But the Senate session that ensued seemed to provide at least a partial forum for Democrats' complaints that the GOP is attempting to smother the legislation.

March 9, 2011
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Gianaris Pushes ‘New Way Forward’ On Redistricing

Capital Tonight's Liz Benjamin highlights Senator Michael Gianaris' push for a New Way Forward on the way Redistricting is done in Albany.

February 28, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Calls For A Vote On Redistricting Reform Legislation

After Governor Cuomo introduced his own legislation creating an independent commission to redraw district lines, I issued a press release applauding his efforts. Governor Cuomo's redistricting reform legislation hews closely to the legislation I authored and championed first in 2005. As the legislature's leading advocate of redistricting reform, I have introduced my redistricting reform legislation in the Senate.

February 22, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Calls For A Vote On Redistricting Reform Legislation

Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris (D-Queens), applauded Governor Cuomo for introducing legislation to create an independent commission to redraw the boundaries for Congressional and state legislative districts, promising to end the longstanding Albany practice of protecting incumbent lawmakers through gerrymandered districts. Mr. Cuomo’s proposal hews closely to legislation introduced and championed by Senator Gianaris since 2005.

Senator Gianaris is the legislature’s leading advocate of redistricting reform.

February 22, 2011
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Senator Dilan Appointed to the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment for the Senate Democratic Conference

In a continuation of his work to reform the redistricting process, Senator Martin Malavé Dilan (D-Brooklyn) has been appointed as a member of the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment for the Senate Democratic Conference.“The State Senate must remain a bellwether of redistricting reforms in New York. The ability to disenfranchise any one-person or community for the sake of political gain with the stroke of a pen is unconscionable,” said Senator Dilan.

January 20, 2011
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Official Transcripts of the Public Meeting on Redistricting.

Attached are the official transcripts to both the December 14 (New York City) and December 16 (Albany), 2010  Public Meetings on redistricting.

January 5, 2011
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Senator Dilan Speaks Redistricting on the Capitol Pressroom, December 16, 2010

Senator Martin Dilan is a Brooklyn Democrat & co-chairman of the Legislative Advisory Task Force on Demographic Research & Reapportionment (studio). In other words, until the end of the month, he has some sway over how the legislature determines redistricting.

January 5, 2011
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Article III of the New York State Constitution

ARTICLE IIILegislature[Legislative power]Section 1. The legislative power of this state shall be vested in the senate and assembly.[Number and terms of senators and assemblymen]§2. The senate shall consist of fifty members,* except as hereinafter provided. The senators elected in the year one thousand eight hundred and ninety-five shall hold their offices for three years, and their successors shall be chosen for two years. The assembly shall consist of one hundred and fifty members. The assembly members elected in the year one thousand nine hundred and thirty-eight, and their successors, shall be chosen for two years. (Amended by vote

January 4, 2011
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Prison Based Gerrymandering

Currently, the United States Bureau of the Census includes everyone housed in federal, state, and local correctional facilities in its count of the general population in the Census “block” (population unit) containing the prison facility. The state's current reliance on the Census Bureau's prison count data when drawing legislative districts could violate federal law in two ways: it dilutes minority voting strength in possible violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965; and it violates the one person, one vote principle of the 14th Amendment’s Equal protection Clause, which requires voting districts to have equal numbers of residents.

January 3, 2011
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