Residents Call For Changes To Lines

Michael Gianaris

February 14, 2012

Queens Tribune reports on a Queens town hall meeting discussing redistricting, where members of the community gathered to protest against the proposed new lines.

Room 213 of Queens Borough Hall was not nearly big enough to contain the welcome the New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR) received when they came to Queens Tuesday afternoon. The room was reduced to standing room only 15 minutes before the Queens town hall meeting discussing LATFOR’s proposed redistricting lines was scheduled to begin.


But State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), an outspoken opponent of LATFOR’s maps - and existence - took issue with that argument, pointing out that minority areas outside the city like Hempstead in Nassau County and New Rochelle in Westchester County were split up into districts that were a majority of whites and Republicans.


“Today you are being called out,” Gianaris said to LATFOR’s members.


He also refused to yield to any explanation that his criticism was created out of anger for being drawn into the same district as State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst).


“I will not sit here and plead to the panel to change its mind and keep my home in the district I represent,” Gianaris said. “I’m less concerned about myself and more concerned about the community I represent and the people in this room”.

Read the full article here.