Recent Posts
NYC Blogs
Click here for a list of NYC blogs
Newsfeeds
Search This Blog

Citizens Union Praise Deal, Chide Legislators
March 15th, 2012

Citizens Union and The League of Women Voters New York are out with a press release praising the constitutional amendment that would change the redistricting process. Critics say the amendment codifies gerrymandering. Gotham Gazette is published by Citizens Union Foundation the Citizens Union’s sister organization.

In their joint statement CU and LWV praise the amendment but voice their pleasure about how the vote took place. They thank the Governor and legislation leaders, “for reaching agreement on establishing lasting structural reform to the states redistricting process. Given the long standing resistance to enacting redistricting reform and the high stakes involved, we applaud them in finding common ground on an issue that is at the core of political power in Albany and results in the legislature giving up power in the drawing of lines.”
But note that it came at a price:
“Though this is a substantive victory for reform, it is tarnished because the process that produced this welcomed outcome occurred during a night where in typical Albany fashion nothing was agreed to until everything was agreed to. Achieving reform through middle of the night voting and limited debate on such an important issue is not the way we would have wanted to see redistricting reform realized.”

Here is the full release:

CITIZENS UNION AND THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS NEW YORK STATE
COMMEND ACHIEVEMENT ON LASTING STRUCTURAL REDISTRICTING REFORM

Good Government Groups Believe LATFORs Rigged System
Is Precisely Why Reform Is Needed

With the State Legislature passing a constitutional amendment and accompanying statute, redistricting reform will finally be a reality as opposed to an aspiration. We commend Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, their staffs, and members of the State Legislature for reaching agreement on establishing lasting structural reform to the states redistricting process.

Given the long standing resistance to enacting redistricting reform and the high stakes involved, we applaud them in finding common ground on an issue that is at the core of political power in Albany and results in the legislature giving up power in the drawing of lines.

Though this is a substantive victory for reform, it is tarnished because the process that produced this welcomed outcome occurred during a night where in typical Albany fashion nothing was agreed to until everything was agreed to. Achieving reform through middle of the night voting and limited debate on such an important issue is not the way we would have wanted to see redistricting reform realized.

Citizens Union and the League of Women Voters New York State have produced a set of Frequently Asked Questions to educate the public about the proposed constitutional amendment.

The important reform elements include:

The six-member, majority party-controlled LATFOR on which self-interested legislators sit is replaced by a ten-member commission on which no legislators will sit. The prohibitions on appointment will be similar to the recently formed Joint Commission on Public Ethics. For the first time, majorities and minorities from each house will be equally represented and there will be two members who belong to neither major party.
New and better criteria that include:
an anti-gerrymandering provision prohibiting the favoring or disfavoring of incumbents, challengers or political parties;
recognizing communities of interest;
requiring that any deviation from the mean population in districts will need to be explained; and
minority voting rights protections mirroring the current federal law will be enshrined in our constitution, providing needed protection should there be a pullback on the federal level.
Commission approval of the plan will require a super majority vote of seven of the ten members, ensuring minority party participation in securing the needed votes.
In order to protect against one-party dominance in the drawing of lines, if one party controls both houses of the State Legislature, approval of a plan requires a 2/3 affirmative vote in each house.
Required hearings across the state ensure public input into line-drawing. It also requires the provision of maps and data to the public in a form that allows for independent analysis and the development of alternate redistricting plans.
The State Legislature must vote twice up or down on the approved commission plan before it can make any amendments.
Amendments made by the State Legislature if it fails twice to pass the commission plan must adhere to the criteria in the constitutional amendment, including the anti-gerrymandering provision, and the statute will further rein in the State Legislature by preventing changes of more than two percent to the population of any district.

We support this reform because we have no confidence that a State Legislature left off the hook this year and angered over a gubernatorial veto would subsequently find religion and enact reform. To believe that ignores the reality of New Yorks political history for the past forty years on this issue and the broken promises of many of the 184 legislators who pledged to create an independent redistricting commission for 2012.

Ample opportunities have been squandered over the past several years to achieve this reform. When the executive branch and both houses of the State Legislature were controlled by one party during the 2009 and 2010 sessions, redistricting reform bills passed committees for the first time, but ultimately were bottled up in each houses Rules Committees and died. When a new 2011 split-controlled legislature convened after 184 members pledged to enact reform in time to draw 2012 lines, they did not keep their word.

We must finally break the cycle of inaction. We must seize this moment when public attention and advocacy have created the opportunity for reform, and secure the change that is achievable.

By on March 15, 2012, 11:50 am
In category: Albany,Demographics,Eye on Albany,Governing | 13 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed


13 Responses to “Citizens Union Praise Deal, Chide Legislators”

  1. Aundrea Keeran Says:
    March 28th, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    This website was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something that helped me. Cheers!

  2. inspirational art brings joy and beauty to your home,metal wall art,art,canvas art,drawings canvas prints,digital art canvas prints, Says:
    March 30th, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    That is very fascinating, You are an excessively skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to in search of more of your fantastic post. Also, I’ve shared your website in my social networks

  3. Locate Says:
    April 8th, 2012 at 10:51 am

    When you have finished a company administration diploma online, there will be a range of positive aspects you will start to discover almost quickly. For 1, you will be able to total your day-to-day jobs with a renewed sensation of function and self-confidence. In addition, you will be eligible for a higher placement and far better spend. If your occupation refuses to offer you you this, you have the expertise and the qualifications to find work elsewhere.

  4. Travel Philippines Says:
    April 9th, 2012 at 6:41 am

    appurtenant googled across to your site. sound is a path toto stunning doorpost. aye what I was trying in that.

  5. hotel singapore Says:
    April 12th, 2012 at 5:22 am

    Im not going to say what everybody else has already stated, nevertheless I do want to remark in your knowledge of the topic. Youre really properly-informed. I cant imagine how a whole lot of this I merely wasnt aware of. Thanks for bringing extra knowledge to this subject for me. Im really grateful and actually impressed.

  6. bikes Says:
    May 19th, 2012 at 5:07 am

    I’m at all times a nasty commenter.how are you going to get positive response from me,still revolutionary and informative.thanx buddy.

  7. cheap party dresses Says:
    May 21st, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Excellent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely wonderful. I really like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it smart. I cant wait to read much more from you. This is actually a wonderful site.

  8. SME Says:
    June 12th, 2012 at 4:06 am

    Hey, you used to write great, but the last few posts have been kinda boring… I miss your tremendous writings. Past several posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

  9. cheap hotel in warsaw Says:
    July 14th, 2012 at 6:21 am

    I do agree with all the ideas you have presented in your post. They’re very convincing and will definitely work. Still, the posts are very short for starters. Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post.

  10. parental control android Says:
    August 15th, 2012 at 3:57 am

    I irritability as a consequence of web sites that conclude the reinforcement of supplying a specialty knowledge helpful resource now emancipate. numerous thanks because of this stunning blastoff of information!

  11. SEO Says:
    October 3rd, 2012 at 2:00 am

    I found your blog website on google and confirm a variety of of your early posts. Proceed to keep up the superb operate. I merely additional up your RSS feed to my MSN News Reader. Looking for ahead to finding out extra from you afterward!…

  12. HOw to be a model Says:
    March 17th, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It actually was once a entertainment account it. Glance complex to far introduced agreeable from you! By the way, how could we communicate?|

  13. kosmodisk classic Says:
    March 30th, 2013 at 1:06 am

    I just couldn’t depart your web site before suggesting that I really enjoyed the standard info a person provide for your visitors? Is gonna be back often to check up on new posts

Gotham Gazette the Place for Politics and Policy

Gotham Gazette is published by Citizens Union Foundation and is made possible by support from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Altman Foundation,the Fund for the City of New York and donors to Citizens Union Foundation. Please consider supporting Citizens Union Foundation's public education programs. Critical early support to Gotham Gazette was provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

RSS Feed