Issues: Elections

Call lawmakers back to Albany to vote on redistricting

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle editoriliazed on the need for lawmakers to keep their promises and pass independent redistricting. We need a special session to vote on this issue and establish a fair process.

When Gov. Andrew Cuomo returns from his summer vacation at an undisclosed location somewhere in New York state, he should move swiftly on critically important post-session loose ends such as redistricting.

On page 17 of his 2010 campaign handbook, The New NY Agenda: A Plan for Action, Cuomo made it clear that he would "fight" for an independent redistricting commission.

August 22, 2011
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New Legislation to Allow July Elections in Fair Harbor Fire Department.

Legislation sponsored by Senator Owen H. Johnson to allow the Fair Harbor Fire District to hold elections on the second Tuesday of July, rather than in December, was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo on August 3, 2011.“This is exciting news for the Fire Island community because it will increase participation in the Fair Harbor Fire District elections,” Senator Johnson said.  “It is in the interest of democracy and the rights of the registered voters that elections take place in July.  This will bring Fair Harbor in line with most other Fire Island Communities where many property owners do not reside year-round and cannot easily gain access in the winter.”

August 17, 2011
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Senator Gianaris on Capital Tonight to discuss LATFOR meetings

Senator Gianaris was on YNN's Capital Tonight with Liz Benjamin to discuss redistricitng in light of the ongoing LATFOR meetings.

August 15, 2011
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O'Mara legislation to reduce costs for local boards of elections becomes law

Albany, N.Y., August 5—Legislation sponsored this year by New York State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) to provide cost savings to localities by reducing the time local boards of elections are required to store unopened and unused election ballots, has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

August 5, 2011
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Senators DeFrancisco, Gianaris to debate redistricting on Wednesday

‎Syracuse Post-Standard wrote about the joint-interview/debate Senator Gianaris and Senator DeFrancisco will participate in this afternoon on The Jim Reith Show.

Syracuse -- Two New York Senators are scheduled to talk about legislative redistricting Wednesday on The Jim Reith Show on WSYR radio.

Sen. John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, has been critical of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to create an independent commission to redraw state and congressional political boundaries, questioning whether such a commission could be independent of political influences.

July 27, 2011
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Senator Gianaris and Senator DeFrancisco to be Guests on WSYR's The Jim Reith Show

Senator Gianaris has challenged Senator DeFrancisco to an on-air debate on redistricting on WSYR's The Jim Reith Show.

Check local listings or listen live at http://www.wsyr.com/pages/Reith.html 

July 27, 4:05 PM - 4:35 PM
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A debate in Syracuse

Senator Gianaris has challenged Senator DeFrancisco to a debate on redistricting to take place live on WSYR's The Jim Reith Show. Senator Gianaris is hoping for an open, honest debate on the issue. Capitol Confidential wrote about the challenge:

This should be lively: it looks like Democratic Sen. Mike Gianaris of Queens and Syracuse Republican John DeFrancisco will debate redistricting with Syracuse talk show host Jim Reith on Newsradio 570 in the near future.

Here is the interchange of letters today, triggered by Gianaris’s interview last night on Reith’s radio show, which prompted DeFrancisco to call in.

Read the full post here.

July 25, 2011
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Independence is key in state redistricting

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle editorialized the importance of creating an independent redistricting commisssion so that district lines will be redrawn in a nonpartisan fashion.

For what it's worth, the New York Legislature's traveling committee on redistricting was in Rochester this week to gather public input on redrawing boundary lines for state legislative and congressional districts.

Though the four-member panel is bipartisan, includes two citizens, and is said to be committed to transparency, it was hard to take seriously. Its members, after all, were doing work that should be done by a panel independent of the legislative process.

July 25, 2011
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Senator Gianaris interview on Capital Tonight

Senator Gianaris was on YNN's Capital Tonight with Liz Benjamin to discuss campaign filing numbers, the 2012 elections and the need for an independent redistricting commission.

 

July 19, 2011
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Inmates key in redistricting issue

There is a cloud over the entire redistricting process. Albany Times Union wrote about LATFOR's continued use of prison-based gerrymandering, despite a 2010 law making it illegal.

ALBANY -- Good-government and civil rights groups charge New York's commission on legislative redistricting will break a 2010 law if it counts inmates where they are jailed.

The legislative commission, known as LATFOR, held its first meeting last week in Albany and announced it will for now ignore a 2010 law -- passed when Democrats controlled the Senate, Assembly and Executive Mansion -- that requires inmates be counted at their last known address.

July 12, 2011
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THE BUFFALO NEWS: Grisanti Makes A Splash

What a difference an election makes.

A year ago, New York’s 60th State Senate District was occupied — barely — by Democrat Antoine Thompson, who thought his position entitled him to milk the public for all it was worth: swelling his office’s patronage staff; sending more than 1 million pieces of self-promotional bulk mail at a taxpayer cost of more than $400,000; voting one way but claiming to have voted the other; taking $8,600 in donations in the AEG casino bidding scandal. And more.

Things change. Today, that seat is held by Republican Mark Grisanti, who, with the help of Senate leadership, just ended his first six months in office with a whirlwind of notable accomplishments. The difference could hardly be more stark. Consider:

July 11, 2011
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SENATOR MONTGOMERY HONORS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD RECIPIENT DOROTHY BURNHAM, A BROOKLYN “RENAISSANCE WOMAN”

The lifetime achievements of Brooklyn native Dorothy Burnham were recognized and lauded by NYS Senator Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) during the reading of a Senate resolution, which was unanimously passed by the full Senate during the final days of the 2011 Legislative Session. The resolution paid tribute to Dorothy Burnham’s many notable contributions to our public education system, the advancement of civil rights, and to the promotion of racial and economic equality. Ms. Burnham was also honored for her designation as recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the New York Friends of the People's World. “Dorothy Burnham is a Renaissance Woman,” said Senator Montgomery.

July 11, 2011
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Census gives NY office miles and miles of data

Queens Chronicle wrote about how census offices in several other states will be closed, making New York's office responsible for collecting and organizing even more data.

How many infants live in Puerto Rico? Workers at the New York regional office of the U.S. Census Bureau will soon be responsible for keeping tabs on the island and many more states, according to the bureau.

July 11, 2011
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Gov. Cuomo must stand firm against Legislature's moves toward the same old partisan redistricting

The Daily News editorialized on the need for passage of an independent, nonpartisan redistrcting panel.

Defying one of Gov. Cuomo's key goals for reforming Albany, the Legislature is gearing up to shamelessly gerrymander election districts so as to protect incumbents and preserve power.

In his winning campaign, Cuomo rightly backed nonpartisan redistricting as critical to breaking the bossism that cows individual lawmakers and makes them less accountable to voters.

But now, as the time approaches for drawing the lines based on the results of the 2010 census, the Legislature has set up a commission that is steamrolling toward doing the job its way.

July 11, 2011
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Senator Gianaris interview on YNN's Capitol Tonight

Senator was on YNN's Capital Tonight with Liz Benjamin to discuss the NY-9 race and the continued need for a nonpartisan redistricting process.

July 8, 2011
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Senator Dilan Memo on LATFOR Guidelines & Criteria

To:       Senator Michael F. Nozzolio, Assembly Member John J. McEneny,

             Assembly Member Robert Oakes, Welquis R. Lopez, Dr. Roman Hedges

From:   Senator Martin Malavé Dilan

Date:   July 6, 2011

Re:       2011-2012 LATFOR Agenda Items

 

Hearing Schedule: Locations

Hearing Schedule: Hours and Time Allotments

Hearing Record

Prison Population Reallocation

Racial Bloc-Voting Analysis

Size of the Senate

Redistricting Criteria

File: 
Senator Dilan Memo on LATFOR Guidelines & Criteria

July 6, 2011
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Watchdog Groups Call For Independent Redistricting

Politics on the Hudson wrote about the need for the Legislature to return to session to approve independent redistricting, in light of the first public meeting of the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR).

Remember independent redistricting?

After Gov. Andrew Cuomo scored legislative victories last month, there’s one glaring piece of unfinished piece: establishing an independent panel to draw district lines in 2012. Cuomo wants it done, but Senate Republicans balked and they left town without considering it.

But the issue will take center stage today when the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR) holds its first public meeting this morning in Albany.

July 6, 2011
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O'Mara legislation approved to reduce costs for local boards of elections

Albany, N.Y.—The New York State Legislature has approved legislation sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats), chairman of the Senate Elections Committee, to provide cost savings to localities by reducing the time local boards of elections are required to store unopened and unused election ballots.

June 23, 2011
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LaValle: Bill Enabling Discharge of Fire Commissioners For Unexcused Absences Passes Senate.

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R, C, I-Port Jefferson) said today that his bill (S3101) enabling fire district commissioners who have excessive unexcused absences to be removed from office has passed the New York State Senate. The bill was passed on June 14. “Fire commissioners make most of the key decisions affecting fire and emergency medical service throughout New York State and sit on boards that have the authority to raise taxes and approve budgets to cover expenses including insurance,  payroll, pensions and the purchase of trucks, and other equipment,” LaValle said. Commission members, LaValle explained, set policy for fire districts, hire staff who maintain firehouses and dispatch calls.

June 16, 2011
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