John Conway Joins NYS Independent Redistricting Commission

In Hudson Valley 360, Kate Lisa reports on the newest member of the state redistricting commission, John Conway. Conway replaced George Winner who resigned.

According to Lisa, Conway worked in the State Senate for many years, including service as the Senate’s Legislative Bill Drafting Commissioner and as an aide to former Senators Dean Skelos and Roy Goodman.

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State Legislation Would Set Standards For Local Redistricting

A bill developed to provide redistricting criteria for New York’s charter counties is expected to pass in the legislature next week. A.229c/S5160c is in the calendar for floor action in both chambers. Charter counties would be required to follow criteria that address population equality, minority voting rights, compactness, contiguity and partisan fairness.

The lead sponsors include Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Westchester), who originally wrote the bill, and Senator James Skoufis (D-Orange). Randi Marshall recently took a look at the bill in Newsday, writing that “(t)he bill, introduced by State Sen. James Skoufis of Orange County, would provide guidance and standards on redistricting for the state’s 23 counties that have their own charters, counties that in the past have had “significant leeway when it comes to redistricting,” Skoufis told The Point.”

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Irvington’s David Imamura Named Chair Of The State’s Independent Redistricting Commission

Barrett Seaman reports in the Hudson Independent on the new chair of the State Redistricting Commission “The pieces are com­ing to­gether that will ul­ti­mately de­ter­mine the po­lit­i­cal map of New York State for the next decade, and the per­son who will be guid­ing the re-map­ping process will be David Ima­mura, cur­rently De­mo­c­ra­tic Dis­trict Leader for the Vil­lage of Irv­ing­ton.

The state’s new In­de­pen­dent Re­dis­trict­ing Com­mis­sion (IRC) was de­signed to be as po­lit­i­cally neu­tral as pos­si­ble, but the process will al­most cer­tainly get more con­tentious as its work nears com­ple­tion next fall. The 2020 Cen­sus re­sults mean that New York State is los­ing one of its cur­rent 27 House seats. As in the game Mu­si­cal Chairs, in the fi­nal round, some­one will be left with­out a seat.”

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N.Y. Redistricting Panel Member Resigns Over Disclosure Rules

Kate Lisa reports on George Winner’s resignation from the Redistricting Commission “George Winner, a Republican former senator and assemblyman who represented parts of the Finger Lakes for 30 years, resigned May 5 from the commission tasked with drawing elective lines after language in the 2021-22 state budget delegates commissioners as legislative employees, which requires them to publicly disclose their financial records.https://1e2145c2fa18b00e57046c681e8a9cbb.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Winner was initially told because the commission was independent from the Legislature, the 10-member group would not be subject to Section 73-A of state Public Officers Law, which mandates legislative employees file an annual statement of financial disclosure with the legislative ethics commission.”

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Joshua Simons on Census, Reapportionment, and Redistricting

SUNY New Paltz ‘s Joshua Simons has penned a blog posting on census, reapportionment and redistricting, From his article: “There is some speculation that the lion’s share of the population gain reported in the 2020 Census will be geographically located in New York City and its surrounding metropolitan commuter area (including Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Orange, and Dutchess Counties in the Hudson Valley). The Empire Center calculates that there will be a net shift of five to seven Assembly seats and two or three State Senate seats to this “downstate” region.

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Redistricting Commission Awaits State Comptroller’s Funding Approval

In the Watertown Times, Kate Lisa updates on funding for the state redistricting commission:  

“The state Comptroller’s Office holds the key to release millions of legislated dollars to fund the state’s Independent Redistricting Commission as the group’s time to redraw elective maps grows short. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office and state Department of Taxation and Finance staff are working to establish the Department of the Independent Redistricting Commission as the group prepares to embark on the state’s inaugural redistricting process without the Legislature’s input.”

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New York’s Congressional Redistricting Could Be Tipping Point In Midterm Battle For Control Of the House

Former NY Assemblyman James Brennan takes a long look at what New York’s congressional redistricting could mean for control of the US House in the Gotham Gazette:

“Historically, the party in power (this time, the Democrats) loses seats in the midterms, the congressional elections halfway through a president’s term. This is a fact Democratic President Joe Biden is surely keenly aware of given his long political history in the U.S. Senate and as Vice President.

The Republicans have more power over drawing new state district maps than the Democrats do because they have more “trifectas,” where one party controls both houses of the state legislature and the governor’s office. The Republicans now have 23 states with trifectas compared to 15 for the Democrats, including New York. These national Republican advantages mean the outcome of redistricting in New York could be vital to the Democrats holding the House of Representatives. Democrats now dominate both Houses of the New York State Legislature and have the power to eliminate a number of Republican House seats, despite the existence of an Independent Districting Commission created to make redistricting fair to both political parties.”

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What’s Next In New York’s ‘Tightest Ever’ Timeline For Redistricting?

Susan Arbetter interviews NYPIRG’s Blair Horner on the redistricting timeline:

“Under the state Constitution, it’s pretty focused on what they’re supposed to do,” he said. “They’re [Independent Redistricting Commission] supposed to be holding hearings across the state starting in September. And the data that will be available in August should allow them to get ready.”

Whether or not they can get ready fast enough to hold hearings is another question, said Horner.”

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Why New York State’s Population Growth Surprised Experts

In the New York Times, Robert Gebeloff takes a look at why New York State’s population grew since 2010.

“There’s usually nothing too dramatic about the census.

Except perhaps what happened to New York State last week, when the Census Bureau released figures that will cost it a seat in Congress — because the state’s 2020 census population came up 89 people, or .00044 percent, short.

But the near miss obscured something important: New York, it turns out, experienced modest growth last decade, up 823,000 people, or 4.2 percent, compared with 2010.https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/1Hmrj/4/

Because the growth rate was lower than the national gain of 7.4 percent, the state still lost out (barely) on keeping the House seat.

Yet the result was quite different from what the Bureau had been forecasting. Annual estimates had the state’s population steadily shrinking since 2016, and a December release said the state’s population, as of July, was actually 40,000 lower than it had been in the 2010 census.

Various theories were offered to explain the discrepancy between expectations and the new reality. Among them: The pandemic brought out-of-state college students home to be counted at their parents’ house, and the presidential election generated so much enthusiasm in New York that it carried over to the census, inspiring a larger-than-expected response rate.”

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Why Challenging The Census Count Would Be An Uphill Climb

On Spectrum TV News, Morgan McKay takes a look at challenging the 2020 census count after New York lost one congressional district by falling 89 people short.

“You can’t look at New York in a vacuum,” Wice said. “If you added 89 people to New York, you’re going to upset the entire 50-state applecart, and those numbers would change other states, as well. It could even hurt New York.”

More detailed census data will be released in the fall, which will give New York a broader sense if there is a path forward for a legal case.”

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