During testimony before the Senate Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment, Samuels predicted that at least five Senate districts—7th, 11th, 38th, 46th and 49th—will be gerrymandered in next redistricting plan without an independent panel and a pledge from lawmakers not to meddle
New York, NY – Today, Bill Samuels, founder of the New Roosevelt Initiative, testified in Albany before the State Senate Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment, calling on lawmakers to pass independent redistricting legislation as soon as possible and include a constitutional amendment on redistricting so that the reforms cannot be simply ignored by the next legislature. Samuels also outlined five State Senate Districts—7th, 11th, 38th, 46th, and 49th—that he predicts will be targeted for gerrymandering in the next redistricting plan, further proving the need for an independent redistricting solution, which includes a pledge by lawmakers that they will not meddle with what is presented to them.
“In order to have meaningful redistricting for 2012 the Majority and Minority Leaders in the Legislature must commit not only to passing some form of independent redistricting plan. But more than that, to commit ahead of time that they will approve it,” said. Samuels.
As an example of potential egregious gerrymandering, Samuels pointed to the 46th district.
“Democratic Senator Neil Breslin, currently represents District 46 that is one of the few Senate Districts that represents a whole county that is not split. Republicans may choose ignore the Constitutional prohibition against splitting Counties in order to cut up the 46th like a personal pan pizza, with the four adjacent Republican Districts (41, 43, 44, and 51) each taking a quarter of Albany leaving Democrats in the area without meaningful representation,” Samuels said.
The full text of Samuels’ testimony in front of the task force is available at http://www.newrooseveltinitiative.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Testimony_LATFOR_20101217.pdf