State Senator Patty Ritchie is urging constituents to make their voices heard in the redrawing of legislative and congressional districts to help ensure fair representation in state and federal government for our region, as well as across New York State.
Once per decade, the state is required to draw new district lines that reflect population and demographic changes reported in the most recent Census. In past years, politicians drew those lines but in 2014, that changed when more than 2 million New Yorkers voted to give the responsibility to a new “Independent Redistricting Commission.” The Commission is slated to host a series of public hearings in the weeks ahead to collect feedback from citizens and devise the best possible plan.
“I was proud to vote in favor of the historic reform that ultimately took the power away from politicians and placed it in the hands of New Yorkers, who will now have the ability to be directly involved in redistricting and the work to create a more balanced government.”
“As the Independent Redistricting Commission begins this critically important effort, I am urging local citizens, community organizations and others to get involved. What we do in the weeks ahead will impact representation in government for the next decade. The importance of this process cannot be overstated and I encourage all to take part and make their voices heard.”
As they work to revise district lines for the State Senate, Assembly and Congress, the Independent Redistricting Commission must consider impacts on existing neighborhoods and communities based on information gathered via its public hearings, as well as written testimony.
Beginning this week, the Independent Redistricting Commission is hosting a series of virtual hearings. Hearings focused on Central New York and the North Country will take place on the following dates:
- North Country and Mohawk Valley: Thursday, August 5, 2:00 PM
- Southern Tier and Central New York: Monday, August 9, 2:00 PM
More information on those hearings can be found on www.nyirc.gov. There, groups or individuals can also submit comments or testimony to the Commission.