Issues: Elections

Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment

@Senator Dilan is the Democratic Minority Member sitting on LATFOR. He has been fighting to keep the process open, fair and free of partisan gerrymandering. Keep up to date with the Task Force and the Senator’s latest efforts.

 

January 24, 2012
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Legislature prepares for session with elections looming

The Ithaca Journal wrote an article that highlights the Senate Republicans rejection of the formation of an independent redistricting task force, which was proposed by Senate Democrats. Senator Gianaris believes that redistricting reform is an urgent matter and that Senate Republicans have abandoned their promise to fix it.

Lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have spent recent months touting their legislative accomplishments in 2011: an on-time budget, a 2 percent property tax cap, a revamped income tax code and a sense of renewed collegiality in a Capitol long known for its partisanship.

That doesn't mean, however, that there isn't plenty on the table for 2012.

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January 18, 2012
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New Senate seat plan is GOP power play that will cost taxpayers

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle wrote an editorial calling Senate Republicans out on their reneged campaign promises of redistricting reform. Senator Gianaris believes this kind of political power play is intolerable. 

Many of the same Republican state lawmakers who hoodwinked New Yorkers into thinking they supported independent redistricting now insist that adding one more seat in the state Senate is good government. Unlikely.

This time around New Yorkers need to let GOP lawmakers know that their ploy for power is as transparent as plastic wrap. Call them and tell them so.

January 13, 2012
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Senator Oppenheimer Announces Her Retirement in 2012

State Senator Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Mamaroneck) announced today that she will not seek re-election this November.  The Senator made her decision upon recently learning that she will have to undergo major shoulder replacement surgery in 2012.

Said Oppenheimer:

“It had always been my plan to seek re-election in November and continue to serve the people of this district.  When considering my responsibilities as Senator, the extensive effort that will go into rehabilitation and physical therapy following my surgery, and the added work of the hard fought campaigns I always wage, it became clear to me that I could do only two of those three important tasks.

January 12, 2012
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Sens. Krueger and Gianaris Talk Redistricting on 'The Capitol Pressroom'

On 'The Capitol Pressroom' with Susan Arbetter:

One analysis of the State Senate Republican majority’s plans for an additional seat suggests that the extra representation would negate the effects of the GOP’s loss in the prison gerrymandering lawsuit. Senators Liz Krueger and Michael Gianaris explain what is happening, and why adding a 63rd seat is unlawful, starting at about 13:30.

January 11, 2012
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SENATOR SQUADRON STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF GOVERNOR'S CALL FOR FOOD STAMP ACCESS AND CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM

In his State of the State address, the Governor laid out a vision to build on the progress of the past year and continue to move New York forward. Two priorities in particular that he laid out - an end to the practice of fingerprinting food stamp recipients and reforming our campaign finance system - are ready for immediate passage.

January 4, 2012
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Common Cause Helps the Public Get Involved in Redistricting

by David Howard King

Gotham Gazette

This week a number of Assembly Democrats got a peek at what their new district lines will look like if the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment has anything to say about it. And LATFOR, with legislative leaders, has for decades had the final word on drawing district lines for the state. The process of redistricting was conducted in secret, lines were drawn to protect incumbents and maintain the senate Republicans’ majority, legislators were consulted on what would be convenient for them. The people were as far away from the process as possible.

December 21, 2011
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SQUADRON TO GOVERNOR: INVEST IN BQE REHAB, CITY TECH, ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Following Bill's Passage, Squadron Asks Governor to Invest New York Works Infrastructure Fund in Brooklyn, Lower Manhattan

Squadron Applauds Passage of Programs He’s Long Championed: Summer Youth Employment, Career Pathways

ALBANY – Following the state legislature’s passage of legislation aimed at creating jobs and growing New York’s economy, State Senator Daniel Squadron asked Governor Cuomo to invest part of the New York Works Infrastructure Fund in key projects in the 25th Senate District: the rehabilitation of the Brooklyn Queens-Expressway (BQE), an incentive program for Lower Manhattan businesses to increase energy efficiency, and a new academic center at New York City College of Technology (City Tech).

December 8, 2011
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State Senator Adriano Espaillat Hails Court Ruling Upholding Prison Gerrymandering Reform

 

Prison gerrymandering deprived communities of color of equal representation and artificially propped up Upstate districts at the expense of New York City

December 2, 2011
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State Senator Adriano Espaillat Hails Court Ruling Upholding Prison Gerrymandering Reform

 

Prison gerrymandering deprived communities of color of equal representation and artificially propped up Upstate districts at the expense of New York City

December 2, 2011
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Campaign Finance Reform: Join the Fight

For too long, our politics have been drowned in a flood of corporate political spending that undermines the voices of real people. 

And it's gotten worse: the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision has meant even more corporate cash is flooding into politics. New York must push back against these special interests by improving shareholder control and corporate disclosure.

November 16, 2011
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Lawmakers Already Drawing Up Special Session Wish Lists

The Capitol wrote about the pressing issue of independent restricting being on Governnor Cuomo's agenda for the potential Legislature in Albany that will meet to discuss the state budget. Passing independent redistricting is at the top of the list of things we need to take care of.

If Gov. Andrew Cuomo calls the Legislature back to Albany this year to deal with a $350 million budget shortfall, lawmakers say he could also open the door to debating a host of simmering issues – including independent redistricting.

The next legislative session begins in less than two months, but Cuomo told radio host Susan Arbetter yesterday that the budget gap could force his hand: “If this trend continues, we may have to bring back the Legislature.”

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November 15, 2011
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Sen. Gianaris Optimistic After 2011 Elections

Senator Gianaris was on YNN's Capital Tonight with Liz Benjamin to discuss the results of Tuesday's elections. The senator hopes to gain back control of the state senate for the Democrats.

Big wins for Democrats this week have State Senator Mike Gianaris optimistic about next year’s elections. His goal is to help Democrats recapture control of the state senate.

Watch the video here.

November 10, 2011
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Ballot Marking Devices Help Voters with Disabilities Cast Their Ballots

As Election Day approaches, Senator Stewart-Cousins is reminding registered New Yorkers to vote. And with the new paper ballot system, the Senator and the Westchester Independent Living Center are raising awareness about the Ballot Marking Device (BMD), which helps voters with disabilities privately and independently cast their ballots.

November 2, 2011
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Keep Race, Job Protection Out Of Redistricting, New York State Voters Tell Quinnipiac University Poll

Quinnipiac University's poll yeilded in results that called the need for a fair and unbiased redistricting process, particualrly not taking into account race or occupation. A majority of New York voters support an independent commission to draw district lines and oppose drawing lines to protect incumbents

Don't draw legislative district lines to create racial or ethnic districts, such as blacks and Hispanics, New York State voters say 72 - 21 percent in a Quinnipiac University poll released today. There is strong agreement among all political groups.

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October 27, 2011
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Cuomo renews vow to veto district lines drawn by joint legislative commission

NCPR News reported on Governor Cuomo's stance on not supporting district lines drawn by joint legislation commision, because they are not independent and nonpartisan. Senator Gianaris spoke with Karen Dewitt, praises Cuomo's unwavering position on the issue of redistricting and the need for a fairer process.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is stating in no uncertain terms that he intends to veto the redistricting lines now being devised by a joint legislative commission, because they are not independent and nonpartisan. 

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October 27, 2011
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Battles to Shape Maps, and Congress, Go to Courts

The New York Times recently wrote an excellent piece on the the risks of gerrymandering and the rising legislation surrounding redistricting that calls for a more fair process that doesn't take partisan gerrymandering too far or ignore minority voters. Senator Gianaris' strong advocacy for independent redistricting reform is further supported in these arguments.

October 27, 2011
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Redistricting raises bias concerns

Albany Times Union wrote about how the Senate GOP is continuing to try to use gerrymandering for their own political advantage. Gerrymandering only serves the GOP's partisan agenda and does not allow voters to be fairly represented.

ALBANY -- When LATFOR, the legislative panel charged with the controversial redistricting process, held its latest hearing Wednesday on Long Island, several witnesses drew attention to the area around Brentwood, which in contrast to wealthier communities in Suffolk County is denser and has a higher proportion of black and Latino residents.

The area is split among four Senate districts -- all occupied by Republicans.

October 6, 2011
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Prison Gerrymandering Debate

State of Poltiics wrote about the prison-based gerrymandering case. Senator Gianaris believes prison-based gerrymandering is illegal and that the GOP is simply trying to manipulate government for its partisan advantage

Right now, a state supreme court is hearing the case of Little vs. LATFOR. It is the Senate Republicans case challenging the law implemented in 2010 by the then-Democratic lead Senate in which prisoners would be counted at their last known address instead of where they are being incarcerated.

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October 4, 2011
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A German teenager has punched holes in Albany's pretense that redistricting is hard

This Daily News editorial shows just how easy it can be to draw fair district lines.

With a deadline looming to redraw legislative districts based on the 2010 census, Albany must stop skewing the process for political benefit.

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He's a 19-year-old student who lives in Hamburg, Germany, and who whipped up a credible redistricting plan for the state Senate. All he needed was an enthusiasm for American politics, a head for computers and a connection to the Internet

Read the full article here

October 4, 2011
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