The Queens Gazette reported on a redistricting hearing in Queens, where elected officials and community leaders were given the opportunity to voice their disapproval of the Senate Republicans' redistricting proposal. Senator Gianaris spoke at the hearing and gave several examples of how the new district lines are being used to break apart minority communities in order to control district representation.
The Queens Chronicle wrote an article that further delves into the problems of the Senate Republicans' redistricting proposal and how federal judges may need to step in.
Gov. Cuomo is reforming the state government in leaps and bounds, but many members of the Legislature haven’t gotten the memo yet. So the redrawing of lawmakers’ districts for the Assembly, Senate and U.S. Congress following the Census has been typical of the Albany of years past: behind schedule, nonsensical in many respects and, of course, utterly politicized.
An editorial by the The New York Times reports that judges are expected to decide this week on whether or not a special master will be appointed to fix the redistricting debacle. Senator Gianaris believes that court intervention is the best hope for having fairer district lines drawn.
It is crunch time for New York lawmakers, who are required to draw new maps for Congressional and legislative districts in time for the 2012 elections. The Congressional primaries are supposed to take place June 26, and as usual, the mapmakers are extremely late. It’s possible that they will release the Congressional maps, which have been drawn up in secret, this week since the Legislature is hoping to approve the new district lines by March 1.
The Queens Gazette posted Senator Gianaris' announcement of the 2012 Earth Day Competition, which he encourages all students in his Western Queens district to participate in.
In celebration of Earth Day, state Senator Michael Gianaris is inviting elementary school students in his Western Queens district to participate in the Earth Day Competition 2012. This poster contest gives children the opportunity to illustrate the importance of improving the environment.
The theme for this year’s Earth Day contest is “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”.
NY Daily News wrote and article about redistricting, saying that the Governor should enact reform that would put an end to gerrymandering.
Gov. Cuomo holds the ultimate weapon in the battle against gerrymandering — his threatened veto of district maps drawn in ridiculously partisan fashion by the Legislature.
He must void the absurd boundaries drawn by the Assembly and Senate and turn map -making over to the courts — except in the unlikely event that lawmakers radically alter their work and establish long-term reforms.
As things stand, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s Democrats and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos’ Republicans conspired in drawing districts with grossly uneven populations that maximize incumbent protection.
An editorial written by Times Union highlights the degree to which New York's redistricing process is flawed, pointing to the fact that the proposed lines were so partisan, court judges were forced to intervene.
There may not be enough bad words in a thesaurus to fully describe the state Legislature’s handling of redistricting. But a court decision on Monday to take over the drafting of congressional lines in New York speaks volumes about how badly this state’s self-interested lawmakers have failed (see: completely, utterly, dismally).
Newsday reports that a compromise suggested to the Governor that would validate the proposed redistricting maps, in exchange for promises to reform the process by 2022, would not fix the current redistricting problems and should not be considered.
Several observers of the once-in-a-decade redistricting of the State Senate and Assembly, including former Attorney General Robert Abrams and the nonpartisan good-government group Citizens Union, called on the governor yesterday to compromise on the new lines in exchange for a state constitutional amendment taking this process out of the hands of the legislature -- for the next round, in 2022.
Former New York Mayor, Ed Koch, wrote an editorial for the New York Daily News that calls out the current redistricting proposal for being blatantly partisan and urges Governor Cuomo to veto any redistricting bill proposed by the legislature.
About two years ago, I felt the same way as most New Yorkers — our state government was dysfunctional, self-serving and an embarrassment. Along with a group of like-minded reformers, I decided to do something about it, forming New York Uprising, an advocacy effort to change the way legislative and congressional district lines are drawn.
Our goal, simply, was to return power to the people.
Times Union reports on negotiations between the Governor, Assembly, and Senate for a possible constitutional ammendment that would create an independent redistricting body. Many believe the new ammendment will not keep legislatures from influencing the redistricting process, including Senator Gianaris, who believes that "if the final product still leaves the Legislature with the final say, we’ve achieved nothing.”
A possible constitutional change to New York’s redistricting process would create a 10-member independent panel to draw the state’s political lines beginning in 2021, but would allow the Legislature to make final tweaks to the plan if the Assembly and Senate fail to pass it after two tries.
An editorial by The Empire talks about the discussed ammendment to the constitution that would bring about change to the redistricting process. Michael Gianaris and other critics, however, point out that the proposed ammendment would still allow legislatures to have final say, which defeats the purpose of redistricting reform.
The Times-Union’s Casey Seiler has a piece up today about the emerging details of a possible deal between Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature for a constitutional amendment to change the state’s redistricting process.