The (For Now) Majority Democrats To Study Redistricting

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The Senate Democrats, who have about three weeks to go before entering Albany’s political wilderness in the minority, plan to hold hearings on redrawing of legislative districts on Tuesday in New York City.

Sen. Martin Dilan, the Democratic co-chairman of the Legislative Advisory Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment, plans to call witnesses like Dick Dadey of Citizens Union, Susan Lerner of Common Cause and former Mayor Ed Koch, all who have supported non-partisan redrawing of legislative boundaries.

Districts for federal and state offices are redrawn every 10 years based on the most recent census data. With Republicans coming back into the majority, Democrats and progressive groups fear Republicans will draw districts friendly to their party. But Senate Republicans, notably Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos of Nassau County, says he wants a non-partisan redistricting commission.

Here’s from the press release, which was issued by Dilan’s office:

Development of fair and objective redistricting goals and criteria will help ensure that legislative districts fairly represent New York’s residents for the next decade. The meetings will address questions such as, but not limited to:

What reforms should the legislature consider before developing new redistricting plans for legislative and congressional districts?

What standards should be used to measure “compactness” for redrawing districts?

How to best keep districts geographically contiguous?

How can legislative districts unite communities of shared interests, taking into account factors that indicate commonality of interests such as, geography or economy?

What maximum population deviation standard should be used for state legislative districts?

What factors should be considered in relation to incumbency?

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