In 2014, New Yorkers overwhelmingly supported a constitutional amendment to form an Independent Redistricting Commission. It would put politics aside and ensure a fair and balanced system to redraw congressional and legislative maps for the next decade.
What could go wrong?
Short answer, everything.
Despite meeting numerous times and receiving input from residents across the state, the commission failed to deliver an agreed upon set of maps, which in effect, left super-majority Democrats in the state Legislature with complete control of the process.
Unsurprisingly, they were quick to reveal their own set of maps which, coincidentally, favored many of their own members and jeopardized several Republican seats.
When given power, political parties abuse it.
The Democrats gerrymandered maps were drawn with clear intent to maximize their own power, silencing the opposition and disenfranchising voters in the process.
This process rejected the will of the people and added to the sentiment of distrust in state government.
These maps have been approved by both chambers and signed into law by the governor, but only time will tell if they hold up in court.
We’re tired of the Albany political machine’s attempts to disenfranchise voters. Republican and independent voters are voting with their feet and moving to states with lower taxes, less regulation and stronger leadership.
It’s not the weather that is driving people away. Leadership in states like North and South Dakota encourage growth and economic development, while New York remains stagnant and burdensome. If this trend persists, we will lose yet another congressional seat after the next census.
During the 2021/22 redistricting process, the Empire State had a real opportunity to exhibit unity and bipartisanship.
Instead, we got the status quo.
Albany County Legislature minority leader