Brennan Center on Redistricting Bill
February 17th, 2011

The Brennan Center is commending Gov. Andrew Cuomo on introducing an independent redistricting bill.

Erika Wood, Director of the Brennan Center’s Redistricting & Representation Project, had this to say:

In the past, New York legislative districts have often reflected sophisticated calculations executed in the back-room far from the public eye. The secrecy has allowed legislators to manipulate the process in a way that sometimes harms New York communities, and undermines fair and equal representation in our government.

Governor Cuomos proposal will open up the process and allow for public engagement. The newly formed redistricting commission will provide the relevant data and software to the public, require a series of public hearings to be held throughout the state, encourage public comment and input, and require the commission to answer questions, consider alternative proposals, and explain the rationale for its final proposed plan.

The Redistricting Reform Act also includes important provisions to assure that the new districts provide minority voters throughout the state the opportunity to elect candidates of their choice. And it instructs the commission to recognize and preserve cohesive communities with shared interests whenever possible.

We look forward to working with the Governor and the legislature to develop these proposals. We urge them to conduct a careful, open and public review of this legislation, consulting with experts, advocates and citizens throughout the state, to make it a redistricting model for other states across the country.

By on February 17, 2011, 2:35 pm
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