Foil: Your right to Know.
A new public hearing on the map proposed by the Redistricting Committee for the new Rockland County Legislature has been rescheduled for Nov. 1st.
A public hearing had been scheduled for Oct. 19, but when we showed up on that date, we discovered that a change had been made to the so-called Plan A map, and a new Plan B map was presented. By legal necessity the public hearing has been rescheduled to Tuesday Nov. 1 at 7:00 PM.
The one significant change impacted District # 10 primarily, as it split the Nyack’s into three different legislative districts and shifted its equilibrium towards Clarkstown. We heard this was done to win Republican support for the map by making District 10 a winnable seat for the GOP in the 2023 elections. The District 10 incumbent, Democrat Harriet Cornell, who lives in the Clarkstown portion of the district, raised no objection. Perhaps she thinks that will make it more difficult for anyone to challenge her in a primary, despite the fact that she runs a greater chance of losing in November?
We and many others have sent in numerous comments over the past few months about how unfair the current boundaries of the Legislature are, and we made many suggestions for the configuration of future districts throughout the county. To our knowledge, no comments were ever submitted by anyone suggesting that the Nyack’s be divided into three different districts. Yet, in the end, our comments were ignored entirely, and the only last-minute change to the map was the division of the Nyack’s, a crystal-clear community of interest, simply to appease Republican leaders.
The redistricting process for the legislature has been a farce from the beginning.
To recap quickly, the proposed map inflates the power of Hasidic leaders at the expense of communities of color in east Ramapo and diverse suburban areas in northern and western Ramapo, the same way it has for the past twenty years. It hacks Pearl River in two, and the Nyack’s into three pieces. Nanuet is needlessly marginalized as a larger portion of it could easily be included within one district. These are all obvious communities of interest that should and can be united. We believe the powers that be do not want to allow any of these particular areas to have a unified voice in the legislature, and thus they have diced them up to dilute their vote.
If you live in any of the affected areas described above, it is in your best interest to voice your concerns to the Redistricting Committee, despite the fact that they will almost certainly ignore them. Submit your comments anyway so that they become part of the official record, that’s an important part of the legal requirements for this process.
Send comments to LegClerk@co.rockland.ny.us
Remember to put Tuesday Nov. 1 at 7:00 pm on your calendar and come out to the public hearing at the County Legislature at 11 New Hempstead Road, New City, to express your opposition to the proposed map.