Feb 23, 2011 Ami Olson Uncategorized
Last week Gov. Cuomo announced his plan for redrawing the Legislative districts , a daunting task that follows each U.S. census.
Cuomo’s Redistricting Reform Act of 2011, if approved by the State Senate and Assembly, would create an “independent” commission in charge of determining which boundaries should be shifted and how far. The commission would be a group of 11, appointed by either the majority or minority leaders of the Senate and Assembly or selected by other commission members. In terms of playground kickball, the Governor has proposed a thoroughly fair and air-tight system of picking teams, at least on paper. Even the third-stringers — those not registered as a Democrat or Republican — get their picks.
We support the Governor’s rule that nominees to the committee would be barred from serving if they had served as an elected official, registered lobbyist or employee of the Legislature in the last four years.
We’d prefer those appointed to the committee be required to commit to not running for public office within four years after leaving the committee, too.
As New Yorkers, we know we often have to play the cards we are dealt. This is one of those situations.
This is a process that directly affects each resident of the state every decade. By the time the redistricting process wraps up, you may find yourself living in the district of a different representative.
Cuomo has made good on his initial promise to propose redistricting reform that is transparent. He also built into the proposal a series of public hearings held by commission members throughout the state and maintains up-to-date information on the commission website.
Those are the cards, and we say it’s a fair hand.
Now it’s up to us to utilize that information and call their bluff if we see something that doesn’t quite add up.