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Non-partisan redistricting – QNS.com

Non-partisan redistricting

Legislative district lines are redrawn based on population following the Census, every 10 years. It is a contentious process, and in the past the lines were redrawn in such a way to protect incumbent office-holders.

There is currently a bill before the Legislature that would establish an independent commission, people not seeking to benefit from the change, to propose boundary lines for New York’s Congressional, State Senate and Assembly districts. The proposal would be subject to approval by the state legislature, of course, but the commission would be given the task of drawing district boundaries every 10 years following the Census.

Fourteen other state senators and I support an independent redistricting commission – including my fellow New York City Senators Diane Savino, Eric Schneiderman, Daniel Squadron, Thomas Duane, Liz Krueger and Jose Serrano.

The legislation calls for creation of a nominating body comprising eight members, one each appointed by the presiding judge of the court of appeals, attorney general, state comptroller, governor, and the majority and minority leaders of the Senate and Assembly. This group of eight would then draw up a list of 40 nominees from which the committee members would be selected. We are making every effort to keep the process as nonpartisan as possible.

The new boundaries are to be drawn according to a set of principles and guidelines that do not exclude minority party voters, and align district lines as much as possible with local boundaries and community character.

We who support nonpartisan redistricting understand that there would be no possibility of redrawing to maximize the vote in anyone’s favor. But I support transparency in the process and I want the vote to reflect the community’s will.

Senator Toby Ann Stavisky represents the 16th Senatorial District in Queens.

 

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