Urges colleagues to abide by fair standards at task force’s first public meeting
Senator Martin Malavé Dilan, member of the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR), urged colleagues to embrace many of the reforms the public has been calling for during the task force’s first public meeting of the 2011- 12 redistricting process.
The July 6 meeting marked the first in a series of public hearings to determine how the legislature will begin redrawing the state and congressional legislative districts for 2012 and present those plans to the public. In light of the recent inaction on Governor Cuomo's redistricting reform legislation, Senator Dilan continued to echo statewide demand for a fair, more-transparent and participatory redistricting progress by calling on LATFOR to commit to a fair and open process.
"New Yorkers rarely get a glimpse of how the redistricting process unfolds until it’s too late. This past year they have made it more than clear that this process has to change. And that another decade of district lines that defy census figures, state and federal laws and undermine our communities and democratic principles are out of the question,” said Senator Dilan.
Senator Dilan is urging LATFOR members to consider the following criteria:
- More open, accessible and timely public hearings, including a hearing in Nassau County, where LATFOR has never conducted a hearing before.
- Objective and fair criteria modeled after the same criteria included in Governor Cuomo's redistricting reform legislation.
- Determine the size of the Senate and publicly present any proposal before new lines are proposed
- Strict compliance with the 2010 state law requiring prisoners to be either reallocated to their "homes of record" or deleted from the census data.
- Make public voting analysis by race consistent with requirements of the federal Voting Rights.
- Facilitate public participation by allowing New Yorkers to provide testimony to LATFOR in person or by mail and have witness statements made public.
- Live broadcasting of all LATFOR hearings on the state legislature's websites.
Read Senator Dilan's memo to LATFOR members on guidelines & criteria that should be embraced as the process unfolds.