Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris (D-Queens), applauded Governor Cuomo for introducing legislation to create an independent commission to redraw the boundaries for Congressional and state legislative districts, promising to end the longstanding Albany practice of protecting incumbent lawmakers through gerrymandered districts. Mr. Cuomo’s proposal hews closely to legislation introduced and championed by Senator Gianaris since 2005.
Senator Gianaris is the legislature’s leading advocate of redistricting reform.
“Candidates of both parties tripped over each other in the last elections to declare themselves reformers,” stated Senator Gianaris. “Now is the time to discover who is a genuine Hero of Reform and who was just spouting empty campaign rhetoric. It's time to Keep the Promise and Pass the Pledge."
During the 2010 election cycle, the entire Republican Senate Conference pledged their support for Ed Koch’s New York Uprising movement that called for redistricting reform. In fact, 54 out of 62 Senators pledged their support for reforming redistricting. Unfortunately, with the elections over, the Republicans are walking away from their campaign promise and instead on typical Albany partisan politics. Senator Gianaris is calling on Senate Republicans to act on the promises of reform they made to the public and bring the redistricting legislation to the Senate floor for a vote immediately.
“The real key to cleaning up Albany is strong independent redistricting reform,” Senator Gianaris said. “Since assuming the majority this year, Senate Republicans have backtracked on their promise for redistricting reform. This is not the time for partisan politicking, and I am hopeful that both the majority and the minority parties of the Senate can work together to vote on and pass this bill now.”
Governor Cuomo has publicly stated the need for such reform, having said he would not sign any legislation that involves the legislature drawing its own district.