Last Ditch Push On Redistricting

Michael Gianaris

June 02, 2011

Gotham Gazette wrote about ReShape NY's Lobby Day event to push for redistricting, which Senator Gianaris attended. Senator Gianaris said, "Promises were made and it is time those promises were kept. Now is the time to discover who is a genuine Hero of Reform and who was just spouting empty campaign rhetoric."

As word spread around the capital today of an impending announcement of a deal on ethics legislation good government groups converged on Albany to pressure legislators on a seemingly forgotten good government issue–independent redistricting. ReshapeNY, a group made up of the League of Women Voters, New York Public Interest Group and Citizen’s Union which is a sister to the Gotham Gazette, brought around 60 constituents to Albany to meet with around 40 legislators to ask them to support independent redistricting legislation proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo or Sen. Mike Gianaris. Both have bills would take the redistricting process out of the hands of legislators and give it to an independent body. Cuomo’s version of the bill would give him more appointments to such a body.

Gianaris addressed the crowd of lobbyists telling them that he hoped they would be back next year, “so we can celebrate.” But so far there hasn’t been much cause for celebration. Senate Republicans have bottled up both the Cuomo and Gianaris bill.

“They have refused to acknowledge the bill’s existence and the Governor’s as well,” Gianaris told the Gazette. “They have gone back on their own campaign promise and not only that but they are activley impeding the progress of the bill said they support.” Senate Republicans denied Gianaris a hearing on the legislation and the bill has not made it through the committee process. Gianaris said that, “timing is everything” and that he thinks the “reality of governor’s strength on the issue” will eventually lead to a break in the impasse.

Read the full article here.