Regardless of political party, gerrymandering in New York State is dangerous
New York State Districts Map has emerged in class, not least because of the openly partisan nature of its construction. Although many Democratic voters want the strong democratic majoritywe cannot excuse the blatant gerrymandering, especially by a margin that’s not quite representative of the New York population, as Michael Li of the Brennan Law Center points out.
The need for Democrats to compensate Republican gerrymandering states should not come from more gerrymandering, but rather from greater pressure for national reform. Now is not the time for the parties to point fingers at the same behavior in which they both participate.
Additionally, many Asian Americans said the redistricted maps reduced the voting power of their communities. Efforts to create an inflated majority in New York State are actively Separate Asian American communities in a way that is reflected across the countryparticularly in Texas by Republicans. We must be wary of tactics that divide communities with the aim of increasing the power of parties, while simultaneously weakening the political effectiveness of marginalized communities.
As Republicans gerrymander our own district of Onondaga County, an end to gerrymandering altogether is clear and urgent. Gerrymandering is just one more issue on the list of disappointments with our two-party political system. Voters are not political pawns – they are individuals with a voice. That’s why we need citizen redistricting to achieve good representation.
Although New York voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2014 to create the New York State Independent Redistricting Commissionthe commission’s flaws — such as having too much influence from the incumbent party’s task force in the mapping process — prevent it from achieving its goal of ensuring that “the voice of New York voters is at the both reflected and protected”.
We need a truly independent Citizens’ Redistricting Commission, similar to the system used in California which follows clear mapping guidelines to ensure accurate representation that does not dilute the voting strength of the community. To see the changes needed in our state redistricting process, members of the League community need to speak up with our state officials. By means such as calling their office or attending a lobbying meeting, we must demand that our state officials prioritize the issue of gerrymandering and ultimately push them to pass a new constitutional amendment. which creates a redistricting commission led by the people, not by politicians.
Evelina Torres, Class of 2025
Published on March 27, 2022 at 9:12 p.m.