Issues: Ethics

Avella, Gianaris call for state independent redistricting

Queens Campaigner wrote about the Queens LATFOR meeting and the need for an independent commission to redraw district lines.

If any teacher wanted to instruct students about gerrymandering, a field trip to state Sen. Tony Avella’s (D-Bayside) district might be a good place to start.

The lawmaker represents an unpopulated, rocky stretch of sand that forms a border around — but does not encroach upon — the neighborhood of Bay Terrace. It connects the neighborhood of Whitestone to the rest of his district by winding around the coast of Little Bay near the Throngs Neck Bridge — but only during low tide.?

September 15, 2011
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Marshall Calls For In-Borough Congressional Districts

Queens Gazette wrote about the redistricting hearing that took place in Queens, in which Senator Gianaris participated:

[...]

Governor Andrew Cuomo has said he would veto any plan that does not meet his criteria for fairness. Cuomo proposed the creation of an independent commission, but legislation introduced in the Assembly was not approved in the senate. LATFOR consists of six members, four from the state legislature and two non-legislators.

September 14, 2011
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Senator Squadron Discusses Ethics Reform, Marriage Equality on Capital Tonight

Senator Squadron joined Liz Benjamin on Capital Tonight to discuss "After 'I Do': What's Next for LGBT New Yorkers," a forum he hosted on remaining challenges for the LGBT community. He also discussed Albany ethics reform, which was recently signed into law.

September 13, 2011
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New districts cannot divide immigrant neighborhoods in Queens, advocates say

The Daily News wrote about how redistricting could affect various immigrant groups in Queens.

State officials must draw new district lines that give growing Queens immigrant groups a stronger voice, advocates demanded this week during a nearly six-hour public hearing.

A joint Senate-Assembly body that oversees redistricting has held public sessions throughout New York since July - and the meeting Wednesday in Queens drew one of the largest crowds in the state.

September 9, 2011
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State Sen. Gianaris criticizes NY's redistricting system

Queens Times Ledger wrote about Senator Gianaris' fight for an independent redistricting process:

The state agency responsible for redrawing legislative district boundaries was set to hold a forum this week to solicit input from the public.

The boundaries for districts of the state Legislature and Congress will be redrawn in 2012 in response to the 2010 U.S. Census. The boundaries of the City Council will be redrawn in 2013.

Since the populations in each district have either risen or fallen, the boundaries need to be adjusted so each legislator represents a similar number of people.

September 8, 2011
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Queens Residents Fear Divided Neighborhoods Through Gerrymandering

NY1 reported on the redistricting public hearing that took place in Queens.

Every 10 years, a task force draws new district lines for state politicians based on census results, and at a Wednesday hearing today in Kew Gardens, Queens, critics alleged that lawmakers do it first and foremost with keeping their seat in mind.

Watch the video here.

September 8, 2011
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September 7, 2011
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Senator Krueger's Community Bulletin: September 2011

Message from Liz . . .

We are a less than a week away from the 10 year anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001, and just over a week past Hurricane Irene. Each had a very different and complex cause; both left us with the immediate need to rebuild our communities. Both also highlight the importance of interdependence as a fundamental strength of our democratic society. In other words, none of us “do it all by ourselves;” we survive through our inter-relationships and our dependence on institutions. When the basic safety and infrastructure of local communities is damaged, we must rely on others to help us rebuild. It really does “take a village.”

File: 
Senator Krueger's Community Bulletin: Sept 2011

September 7, 2011
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Prison count numbers show big shifts in upstate districts

Politics on the Hudson wrote about the data found by the Assembly study on how to count New York State prisoners. Senator Gianaris believes that the use of these numbers to redraw district lines would allow New Yorkers to be represented fairly.

With a court battle still pending, Assembly Democrats have released updated population figures for use during the redistricting process, counting prisoners at their last-known address rather than where they are incarcerated.

September 6, 2011
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Prisoner-adjusted Senate/Assembly districts (UPDATED)

Capitol Confidential wrote about the Assemly's study on counting prisoners. This data will help clear the air around the redistricting process.

I have an article in today’s paper about Assembly Democrats releasing new population figures for state legislative districts, showing which ones increased and decreased when inmates (per a 2010 law) are counted at their last known address — not in their jail cells.

As we all expected, the biggest losers are rural, upstate Republicans. Only one Senate Democrat — Suzi Oppenheimer of Westchester County — had a significant population loss as a result of the recounting. As Ken Lovett noted today, districts in New York City pick up the gains.

September 6, 2011
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Law counting prisoners towards population in home community could redraw districts in Dems favor

LATFOR should use the results of the Assembly's study as they continue the redistricting process. The Daily News wrote about the study on how to count prisoners for purposes of redistricting.

ALBANY - Prisoners in New York can't vote, but they may decide which party controls the state Senate next year.

A new law now requiring prisoners to be counted toward the population of their home community - rather than where they are serving time - could dramatically alter the political landscape of more than a dozen upstate districts.

That's because state officials will redraw legislative and congressional districts based on 2010 Census Bureau population figures in time for the 2012 elections.

September 6, 2011
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Big line shift likely

Prison-based gerrymandering is illegal and must not be used when redrawing district lines. The Times-Union wrote about a study conducted by the State Assembly which counts prisoners at there home address for purposes of redistricting.

ALBANY -- Several Senate districts in upstate New York would lose more than 5,000 constituents, according to newly analyzed data that may guide district lines.

The datasets, released Monday by Assembly Democrats, change Census figures normally used to draw districts for the Senate, Assembly and Congress so as to count prison inmates at their last known address -- not in their cells.

September 6, 2011
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Dems Hopeful Court Ruling Will Favor Them During Redistricting

Senator Gianaris was on YNN’s Capital Tonight with Liz Benjamin to discuss Nassau County’s redistricted lines, which were recently overturned by the Court of Appeals.

September 2, 2011
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September 1, 2011
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GOP gets slammed in LI redistricting

Capitol Confidential wrote about Nassau's overruled district lines, which exemplifies New York's need for a bipartisan redistricting process.

Senate Democrats are already hailing this as a precursor for the broader statewide redistricting battle. That remains to be seen, but today’s Court of Appeals ruling against the Republican-dominated plan for redistricting the Nassau County legislature is a defeat for the GOP.

Dems also note that this is quite a defeat for the GOP’s election lawyer, John Ciampoli.

More than a half million Nassau Co. residents would have been in new districts, they noted.

Senate Democratic spokesman Mike Murphy issued the following statement. Below that is the opinion.

August 30, 2011
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Court Of Appeals Rejects Nassau County Lines

State of Politics wrote about a Court of Appeals rejection of Nassau county district lines. Legislative district lines must not be drawn in a manipulated, partisan manner.

A Court of Appeals decision for Nassau County could have statewide implications for the redrawing of legislatively boundaries next year.

Or, at least that’s what Senate Democrats hope.

The Court of Appeals ruled 7-2 7-0, with two judges dissenting in part (whoops!), this morning rejected boundaries drawn by the Nassau County Legislature, which the judges claim ignored a three-step process as laid out in a county charter.

August 30, 2011
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Industry Skips Hydrofracking Hearing

By Bill Lambdin

KATONAH - With the Cuomo administration moving quickly to allow hydrofracking in parts of New York, maybe the industry doesn't think they need to court state senators.

No industry representatives chose to show up at a public hearing Tuesday chaired by a Republican Conservative, flanked by two progressive Democrats.

"Before we allow a multi-billion dollar industry that's on the gateway of New York's border to come in here and profit off of our land and air resources these questions better get answered," said Senator Greg Ball (R - Patterson).

August 24, 2011
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Ethics Law Just First Step, Reformers Say

By Karen DeWitt

Governor Cuomo signed into law new ethics oversight legislation, but some say the measure is flawed, and that there is still work to be done to fight corruption in government.

Cuomo signed the ethics law without fanfare or a public ceremony. In a statement, he touted the new stricter requirements for disclosure of lawmakers' outside income, a 14 member ethics panel empowered to probe charges of corruption, and the elimination of pensions for elected officials in the future who are convicted of a felony. Cuomo called it a "major step forward in restoring the people's trust in government and changing the way Albany does business".

August 24, 2011
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Queens Gazette: GIANARIS PRAISES NEW ETHICS LAW

Queens Gazaette wrote about Senator Gianaris' support for the new ethics legislation that Governor Cuomo signed into law.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law last week the new Public Integrity Act of 2011, drawing heavy praise from state Senator Michael Gianaris (D–Astoria), who was strongly in favor of the new ethics reform statute as it made its way toward passage in the senate during the regular senate session earlier this year.

The law increases transparency, Gianaris noted, establishes more stringent disclosure requirements, and creates a new independent ethics panel to oversee elected officials.

August 24, 2011
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