"Imagine going to sleep one night in the bedroom that you have enjoyed for over 20 years – only to wake up the next morning to discover that someone has arbitrarily relocated your bedroom into someone else's home. This is precisely how I felt when the Republican Party targeted and gerrymandered me for being too outspoken for the communities that I represent. Yes, their response was to gerrymander me out of my own district.
Upon review of the proposed new map for the 20th Senatorial District, one will see a strange U-shape encompassing a two-block area. That odd U curve is the borderline surrounding my block, the place that I have called home for over 22 years. If the GOP gets their way, I will have no choice but to make my current home my former home in order to continue representing my constituency.
Every 10 years legislators utilize census data to redraw Congressional, Senate and Assembly lines. These lines designate the district that each elected official will represent. Unscrupulous legislators will often use this opportunity to target some of their colleagues that they would like to see removed from office.
This year I am the poster child for removal. Many of the Upstate and Long Island Republican senators are angry with me because of my progressive agenda for New York City residents. In Albany, I am known as one of the lead voices that support social issues such as, but not limited to, tenant housing protections, fair funding in our schools, and ending the draconian practice of NYPD stop and frisk.
As drawn by the Republican-controlled Senate, the proposed lines or districts systematically disenfranchise large numbers of New Yorkers and reverse the progressive movement that has been made in Albany. It hurls us back into the negative climate from which Albany is attempting to distance itself.
Elected officials should not draw their own district lines. This was the pledge that all of my colleagues – including the Republicans – and I agreed to support. However, in their strained attempt to silence progressive voices, the GOP reneged on their promise to support independent, fair and impartial redistricting.
I trust that our court system will review the lines and, in agreement with thousands of residents in our great state who are calling for new lines to be drawn, will compel the legislature to draw new ones.
If that does not happen, I will continue to use my experience to fight to create a city where we can raise our children and families. I did this in a blue uniform as a NYPD Captain and in a blue suit as a NYS Senator.
You have my commitment that I will continue to do it as your neighbor."