Paul said that the coalition’s map keeps communities together, like Elmont and the Five Towns, which are split into multiple districts in the Republican plan. He added that the acceptance of either party’s plan would be a recipe for continued dysfunction.
Epstein explained that seven of the current 19 districts needed to be adjusted because they have either too many or too few residents based on 2010 census data. She also said that the new coalition’s map did not take into account where sitting legislators live.
“We urge the Legislature to adopt this map, with modifications if necessary,” she said.
Frederick Brewington, an attorney from Hempstead, said that the map was assembled by organizations that have never worked together before, but all share a common belief in a fair redistricting process. He added that if the Legislature adopts either the Republican or Democratic plan without even considering the coalition’s map, it should expect a court challenge.
Mimi Pierre-Johnson, of Elmont, representing New York Communities for Change, described the plans created by the Republicans and Democrats as a complete waste of taxpayer money. The Temporary Districting Advisory Commission had a budget of about a half-million dollars.
“We will stand together, united, and we will let them know you will not spend our taxpayers’ money to divide us,” Pierre-Johnson said. “Our voices will not be diluted.”
Scottie Coads, the state civic engagement chairwoman for the NAACP and a West Hempstead resident, said she attended the press conference to show her support for a fair redistricting process. She noted the “slicing and dicing” of communities that took place in the two plans released by the commission.
The Legislature has until March 5 to accept a redistricting plan, which would take effect for the November 2013 elections.
To view the Nassau County United Redistricting Coalition's plans, click here.