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One vote scuttles GOP plan to remove county legislator from 19th District
By Brian Racow, bracow@liherald.com
Courtesy David Denenberg
Nassau County Legislator David Denenberg will remain in the 19th District. A Republican redistricting plan proposed as late as Monday would have removed him from the 19th District, which he has represented for 14 years.

Republicans in the Nassau County Legislature modified their proposed redistricting map yesterday, backing off a plan to place a sliver of Merrick, including the home of Democratic Legislator Dave Denenberg, into the neighboring district of Legislator Joseph Scannell, a Democrat from Baldwin. The plan would have removed one of the two incumbents from the Legislature.

Denenberg currently represents the 19th District, which encompasses Merrick south of Camp Avenue. Scannell represents the 5th District, which is west of the 19th District.

The map reversal came only a day after a legislative meeting to discuss the Republicans’ proposed map, at which dozens of residents spoke out against it, including several Denenberg constituents. The legislator, they noted, has served the 19th District for 14 years.

“It was really very humbling and gratifying for so many people to come and even wait hours to speak out for me,” Denenberg said. “Another 100 or so people wrote emails. I’m very thankful for people speaking up.”

Republicans now hold a one-seat majority in the Nassau Legislature, where they outnumber Democrats 10-9. The GOP redistricting plan required only a simple majority to pass, but Denise Ford, a Long Beach Democrat who caucuses with the Republicans, bucked the plan to remove Denenberg from his current district, according to an aide in Denenberg’s office.

“We are pleased that [the change] happened; it’s great for the residents of the 19th District,” said Bob Young, a Merrick resident and first deputy leader of the Hempstead Town Democratic Committee. “Dave is a hardworking legislator; it’s his people and the people need him … It was wrong to take him away from his district and residents.”

Denenberg called the map reversal “bittersweet,” because he will be restored to his current district, but parts of Merrick only blocks from his home will still be split off into Scannell’s district.

“I’m happy I’m being put back in Merrick, but I’m not satisfied that Merrick is being kept whole,” Denenberg said. “They literally put back my block and two other blocks. I’d rather Merrick be kept together.”

The legislator said that the removal of a section of Merrick that lies to the west of Merrick Avenue, between Sunrise Highway and Merrick Road, from the current 19th District “doesn’t make any sense, except from a partisan political perspective.”


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How sad that the GOP gave in. There would have been a basic benefit to this redistricting, and that would have been no more Denenberg.

Yes, it would have been partisan, but it would have been worth it.

Luckily for Denenberg, the NC GOP are spineless.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 | Report this

There is still one more wrong that needs to be fixed. Merrick residents who live west of Babylon Tpke must be brought back into Dave` district. I live 2 blocks away from Dave and he is not going to be our legislator. The Meadowbrook Parkway divides this community from the rest of the new district to the west. It is wrong. Hopefully people who live in the disconnected district will demonstrate their anger. Imagine living only one block away from Dave and not being able to vote for him. The GOP mapmakers are like children with crayons sitting around the kitchen table making a mockery of the Merrick community and democracy. UNBELIEVABLE !

Thursday, February 28, 2013 | Report this

i guess they heard he was running against Kate Murray and that scared them enough to relent. Either that, or they knew they would never win a court challenge. They will still face one

Thursday, February 28, 2013 | Report this

The ONLY benefit to the redistricting for Nassau County would have been for the GOP, who gerrymandered the entire county for the sole purpose of getting a supermajority in the legislature for the next 10 years, thereby rendering the votes of the Democrats irrelevant. Denenberg was elected with a huge majority of the district, by both Democrats and Republicans. The GOP removed Denenberg from his district by carving a slice around his house to put him in contention with Scannell. Wake up, people of Nassau County! Districts are being sliced and diced to dilute your vote...the same strategy the GOP is using in the national and state districts. THE PEOPLE ARE THE BIG LOSERS; THE 98% WILL SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES. Pay attention to what's going on. If approved on Mar. 5, the proposed map will most certainly be decided in the courts.

Sunday, March 3, 2013 | Report this
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