Democratic Caucus call for new district lines by an independent commission

Local Politics

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — There is a new push to draw new district lines in Monroe county based on the results of the 2020 census. It is coming from the Democratic Caucus of Monroe County.

“The amendment calls for transparency through an independent redistricting commission,” said Yversha Roman, Minority Leader, 

Fair representation, that is essentially what the DCMC is proposing.

“When you have a legislature who is representing multiple areas because of the intended outcome of having a particular party win that space, the advocacy is lost,” said Roman. 

The caucus wants an independent redistricting commission with no political affiliation to draw new district lines in the county based on the 2020 census. The commission would consist of eight members made up of retired judges, leaders in minority communities and members who are committed to voter rights. According to the proposal, they would study the population data and within three months after appointment make recommendations. 

“So right now when you look at the county map, you’ll see a lot of the districts are cut up in very different ways,” said Roman. “As mentioned, those lines were created by politicians or individuals who were connected to politicians when they drew those lines. So what was happening was that politicians were self serving.”

According to the DCMC, they introduced the measure on September 22 as an amendment to a Republican redistricting plan that would allow the new lines to take effect in 2024. Democrats are also concerned the GOP plan could result in litigation that forces an election on new lines sooner, as the districts could be unbalanced as a result of new census data.

The Democratic Caucus will re-introduce the amendment during their October 13th legislature meeting. 

In a statement from Republican Majority Leader Steve Brew in response to the proposal: 

“Adam Bello and his small group of Democrat allies in the County Legislature continue to push the same flawed proposal that was already rejected by a bipartisan super-majority of Legislators. Monroe County already has a bi-partisan redistricting commission that has worked for six decades. The only time it didn’t work was in 1991 when Democrats controlled redistricting and drew such gerrymandered lines that voters rejected the maps via public referendum. Adam Bello knows he cannot push a radical defund the police-style agenda through a Republican-controlled Legislature, so he is stacking the deck for Democrats to take control. It’s laughable to think anyone would want Democrats to run County government when they cannot even run their own caucus.” 

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