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Partly Cloudy,42°
Monday, October 20, 2014
Republican redistricting plans heads to Legislature
(Page 2 of 3)
Susan Grieco/Herald
Michael Turi of Woodmere addressed the Means Committee about redistricting.

Peter Rosenthal, of the League of Women Voters, endorsed a nonpartisan map that was created by the Nassau County United Redistricting Coalition, a joint venture involving several civic engagement groups. Rosenthal said that the coalition’s map takes into account the interests of the people, not the politicians.

Instead, the latest proposal would put three sets of legislators into the same district — Democrats Joseph Scannell and David Denenberg on the South Shore, Democrats Wayne Wink and Delia DeRiggi-Whitton on the North Shore, and Republicans Joseph Belisi and Michael Venditto in southeastern Nassau County.

Frank Moroney, who chaired the redistricting commission, said the map upholds the basic one-person, one-vote principle of the Constitution and creates three minority districts. He added that public input following the commission’s Jan. 3 hearing had been taken into account, noting that areas such as Massapequa, the Great Neck peninsula and Westbury were reunited at residents’ request. However, Moroney said, to create districts of equal size meant that putting Elmont or the Five Towns back together wouldn’t work.

Monique Hardial, an Elmont Library trustee, said that putting her community in the same district as Inwood was illogical. Elmont should be kept with communities like Valley Stream and Franklin Square, she said, as those areas have similar interests and issues.

Henry Boitel, of Rockville Centre, a village that would be split into three districts under the plan, said he wondered how anyone could suggest that the maps are fair and reasonable, or that there was great transparency in the process. “What we see today was predictable from the first hearing,” he said.

Kevan Abrahams, the Legislature’s minority leader, said that the current maps provide for “fair fight” districts, explaining that residents have elected both Democratic and Republican majorities in the past 10 years. He added that the Democrats’ plan, which mostly keeps districts intact but moves a few thousand residents into other districts to account for population shifts, should have been up for consideration on Monday.

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