Public hearings to take place starting later this month on redistricting

State Legislature

ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — The “New York State Independent Redistricting Commission” has released the schedule for its first round of public hearings. The group is tasked with drawing the maps for congressional and state legislative districts. 

Later this month virtual regional redistricting hearings will begin. The commission’s goal is to hold these before the U.S. Census Bureau’s official data is expected to be released in August. That information will ultimately be used to help them create the new maps. 

Jennifer Wilson with the League of Women Voters of New York State says the initial hearings will help fill in the gaps the Census doesn’t pick up. “What you should really be thinking about is if your community is split in any way, how is that going to impact you for the next 10 years?” she said.

Wilson says some things to consider are water quality issues, underfunded schools and poor roads that could be a result of gerrymandering in the past. “If you look at these problems, you may notice the reason why you’re having these problems is the elected official who represents you doesn’t feel like they need your vote to be re-elected because of how your district has been drawn,” she said.

The first redistricting proposal will be made public on September 15th. Following that, there will be more hearings. 

“New Yorkers should also know that there will be a second round of hearings as well after draft maps are released in early September,” Wilson said.

The Commission also has a new website at NYIRC.GOV.

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