Today, State Senator Adriano Espaillat (D – Manhattan/Bronx) voted against Senate Republicans’ latest attempt to block real redistricting reform. Republicans are pushing a constitutional amendment that would establish independent redistricting – 10 years from today. This is yet another cynical political ploy by Albany Republicans to preserve the broken status-quo and prevent voters from choosing their representatives, and not the other way around.
“Republicans want change we can believe in, in 10 years,” said Senator Espaillat, noting Republican failure to act on Senator Espaillat’s preferred bill which would establish real reforms and independent redistricting this year. “Instead of pushing off reform for the next decade, I call on Senate Republicans to join me and my Democratic colleagues in establishing fair, independent, and non-partisan redistricting in 2012, not 2022.”
Thus far, Senate republicans have blocked debate on Governor Cuomo’s non-partisan, independent redistricting bill, which ends the age old Albany practice of letting politicians cherry pick their voters.
“Voters sent us here to cleanup Albany, not muddy up the process and hope the clock runs out on reform,” said Senator Espaillat. “If Senate Republicans want to enact a change in 10 years, we have plenty of time to deal with it. But we must not do so at the expense of real reform in 2012.”
Under the Republican plan, the 2012 redistricting process will be done under the discredited rules of the past, instead of the reform pledge signed-on by virtually every single senator. In addition to Senator Espaillat and other Senate Democrats, former NYC mayor Ed Koch and the non-partisan Citizens Union have called on Senate Republicans to end their political maneuvering and finally allow a vote on Governor Cuomo’s redistricting bill.