Gov. Cuomo should demand that an independent commission draw statewide district maps, and reject the current gerrymandered maps proposed by a legislature task force, according to an editorial published today in The New York Times.
an update on the ongoing redistricting process:
On Friday, lawyers for the Assembly Democrats and the Senate Republicans submitted critiques of each other’s Congressional redistricting maps for the judge to consider. The Democrats said the Republican plan would contort the boundaries of several districts that have large minority populations, while the Republicans said the Democratic plan would make it harder for Republican incumbents to win re-election.
The judge also solicited Congressional maps from the general public, and several people submitted proposals to the court (“I am a redistricting hobbyist,” one wrote by way of introduction). Other submissions came from incumbent members of Congress: for example, Representative Yvette D. Clarke, a Brooklyn Democrat, offered her own proposal for how her district’s boundaries should be redrawn.
Good-government groups and Albany lawmakers continue to debate whether Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, should seek to compromise with legislative leaders on this year’s maps in return for a constitutional amendment that would create an independent redistricting process beginning in 2022.
Several Senate Democrats said on Friday that such a deal would be unacceptable. “New York’s voters would have to accept 10 more years of hyperpartisan, racially discriminatory maps to get this too-little, too-late reform,” said Senator Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat.
The magistrate judge, Roanne L. Mann, will hold a public hearing in Brooklyn on Monday on the Congressional proposals. She then will have only a few days to draft her own map: the panel of three federal judges that is overseeing the redistricting process has asked Judge Mann to produce her plan by the following Monday.
And in Albany, legislative leaders said they were completing a revised set of maps for the Senate and the Assembly, although it was not clear when those maps would be released.