Marshall Calls For In-Borough Congressional Districts

Michael Gianaris

September 14, 2011

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.

Cuomo’s commission consisted of eight members, four appointed by the governor, and four by each of the two major parties in the legislature. Critics of the current task force contend legislators essentially draw their own boundaries. State Senator Michael Gianaris told the task force he favored a commission such as the one recommended by Cuomo. “It is very unlikely (LATFOR) will produce a fair plan,” Gianaris said.

Marshall said the 2010 census shortchanged the borough by at least 100,000 people. While the city of New York formally challenged the count in August, any adjustment in the census would come too late to alter the reapportionment of districts.

There is also dispute about how to count approximately 57,000 state and federal prisoners. A lawsuit filed against LATFOR by a group of state senators seeks to return to counting prisoners as residents of districts where they are incarcerated. Last year, then Governor David Paterson approved a plan counting prisoners in their home districts.

With a tentative date of Apr. 24, 2012 set for the New York presidential primary, Assemblymember John McEnemy, co-chair of the task force, said, “The state legislature is going to have to vote on [redistricting] by late February or early March.”

Once preliminary maps with the new district lines are drawn up in October, LATFOR will hold a second round of hearings in late November and early December. “Generally, this is a thankless task. Nobody is ever going to be happy,” McEnemy said.

Read the full article here.