Brennan Center Commends Gov. Cuomo for Introducing Redistricting Reform Act

February 17, 2011

New York — The Brennan Center for Justice issued the following statement commending Governor Andrew Cuomo for introducing the Redistricting Reform Act of 2011, comprehensive legislation that will increase transparency and public participation in the state’s redistricting process and provide important protections for communities throughout the state.

The following statement should be attributed to Erika Wood, Director of the Brennan Center's Redistricting & Representation Project:

“In the past, New York legislative districts have often reflected sophisticated calculations executed in the back-room far from the public eye. The secrecy has allowed legislators to manipulate the process in a way that sometimes harms New York communities, and undermines fair and equal representation in our government.

“Governor Cuomo’s proposal will open up the process and allow for public engagement. The newly formed redistricting commission will provide the relevant data and software to the public, require a series of public hearings to be held throughout the state, encourage public comment and input, and require the commission to answer questions, consider alternative proposals, and explain the rationale for its final proposed plan.

“The Redistricting Reform Act also includes important provisions to assure that the new districts provide minority voters throughout the state the opportunity to elect candidates of their choice. And it instructs the commission to recognize and preserve cohesive communities with shared interests whenever possible.

“We look forward to working with the Governor and the legislature to develop these proposals. We urge them to conduct a careful, open and public review of this legislation, consulting with experts, advocates and citizens throughout the state, to make it a redistricting model for other states across the country.”

For more information or to set up an interview, contact Andrew Goldston at the Brennan Center, 646.292.8372, andrew.goldston@nyu.edu.

This statement is also available as an embeddable PDF via Scribd.com.

New York, NY—The Brennan Center for Justice issued the following statement commending Governor Andrew Cuomo for introducing the Redistricting Reform Act of 2011, comprehensive legislation that will increase transparency and public participation in the state’s redistricting process and provide important protections for communities throughout the state.
The following statement should be attributed to Erika Wood, Director of the Brennan Center's Redistricting & Representation Project:
“In the past, New York legislative districts have often reflected sophisticated calculations executed in the back-room far from the public eye. The secrecy has allowed legislators to manipulate the process in a way that sometimes harms New York communities, and undermines fair and equal representation in our government.
Governor Cuomo’s proposal will open up the process and allow for public engagement. The newly formed redistricting commission will provide the relevant data and software to the public, require a series of public hearings to be held throughout the state, encourage public comment and input, and require the commission to answer questions, consider alternative proposals, and explain the rationale for its final proposed plan.
The Redistricting Reform Act also includes important provisions to assure that the new districts provide minority voters throughout the state the opportunity to elect candidates of their choice. And it instructs the commission to recognize and preserve cohesive communities with shared interests whenever possible.
We look forward to working with the Governor and the legislature to develop these proposals. We urge them to conduct a careful, open and public review of this legislation, consulting with experts, advocates and citizens throughout the state, to make it a redistricting model for other states across the country.”