HYDE PARK – Senator Sue Serino on July 15, urged community members to make their voices heard by actively participating in the once in a decade effort to redraw lines of legislative and congressional districts to help ensure fair representation for the community in our state and federal governments.
Every ten years, New York State is required to draw new state and federal lines to ensure districts accurately reflect the population and demographic changes reported in the most recent Census. In 2014, through a constitutional amendment, New Yorkers took redistricting power away from politicians and special interests and established the “Independent Redistricting Commission” (IRC).
“The goal of the Independent Redistricting Commission is to ensure that power to redraw these lines lies with the people of New York, by ensuring that no region of the state, special interest, or political party can gain an unfair advantage in the process,” said Senator Serino. “With the Commission’s work now underway, it is critical that community members make their voices heard to ensure a balanced, equally-represented government that effectively serves all New Yorkers.”
Starting on July 20, 2021, the IRC will host a series of virtual hearings to collect input from citizens, which they will use to draft a balanced redistricting plan. As part of its charge to redraw the district lines for the State Senate, Assembly and Congress, the Independent Redistricting Commission is required to consider impacts on existing neighborhoods and communities based on information it gathers from these hearings and written testimony.
Serino continued, “For the first time, New Yorkers themselves have the opportunity to play a direct role in the redistricting process. This Commission—created by the citizens for the citizens—established a redistricting process that is more open and transparent than it has ever been, but it only works if everyday New Yorkers do their part to make their voices heard throughout the process. I urge Hudson Valley residents—and all New Yorkers—to learn more, and work alongside neighbors, community groups and others to speak up for the issues that matter most to our communities.”
To learn more about the Independent Redistricting Commission and its charge, visit www.nyirc.gov. The Commission will also accept written testimony through that link. Any group or individual is entitled to make a submission.
The virtual hearing for the Mid-Hudson Valley and Capital Region is scheduled for August 2, 2021, at 2:00 pm,