Ossining is in Rockland County? If the proposed NYS Senate redistricting lines take effect, Ossining will be carved out of Westchester and taped on to District 38.
How did this happen? The Republican lead Senate and the Democratic lead Assembly decided to renege on the commitment that many members of both parties signed last year to allow an Independent Redistricting Commission to draw the lines. Instead politicians drew lines to ensure their own reelection, not to ensure that voters are fairly represented in Albany.
What can we do? Sign this petition right now! On Friday, March 2 the petition will be presented to Governor Cuomo, the State Senate and the State Assembly. It is widely anticipated that Governor Cuomo will veto the bill and make modifications to the most egregious examples of gerrymandering. Ossining has a smaller population than many of the other most disenfranchised communities, so we need to shout louder to be heard. Please join in the chorus of Ossining voices directed at Albany, and sign this petition.
District 38? I had the pleasure of meeting David Carlucci (our would-be senator) this weekend at a Westchester County Democratic Party Brunch. He struck me as approachable, engaged and knowledgeable. When I invited him to attend next week’s Energize Ossining Community Launch, he knew what I was talking about. He even took it a step further and recognized how the recently passed “On Bill” payment system will be an asset to the Energize program. Senator Carlucci committed that he, or a representative from his office, will be at the Energize Ossining Community Launch next Thursday, March 8 to help us all understand how homeowners can take advantage of the rather confusing, but extremely beneficial, “On Bill” payment system.
Clearly my opposition to the senate redistricting has nothing to do with the David Carlucci. But even if Senator Carlucci makes dozens of trips across the Hudson to get to know Ossining, there’s no guarantee that he will continue to represent us until district lines are redrawn a decade from now. It’s not a stretch to imagine that a politician ambitious and competent enough to get elected to the NYS Senate at age 29 will continue to run for ever-higher elected office.
Below is the letter I sent to Governor Cuomo earlier this week. There’s still time for you to send an email to the Governor. And it will take only a minute for you to sign the petition referred to above demanding that Ossining be represented by a senator on our side of the Hudson.
Senate Republicans may claim the district lines they propose are, “fair, legal and consistent with the Voting Rights Act”, but to Ossining voters, being lumped with Rockland County feels unfair, gerrymandered, and consistent with the worst of partisan politics.
Please do not allow Ossining’s senate district to be gerrymandered into District 38 with Rockland County. You ran for governor with a vow to “fix” Albany. The Republicans’ proposed districts are intended only to strengthen and broaden their power in the senate rather than to fairly represent the voters of our state. This partisan manipulation is enraging to Ossining voters on both sides of the aisle—and deservedly so.
Rivers are natural dividing lines between districts, counties, states, even nations. The Hudson River is wide and Ossining residents must drive several miles to the nearest bridge connecting us to Senator Carlucci. Let District 38 maintain its constituents in Haverstraw, Stony Point and Orange County. They share demographic needs and geographic accessibility.
Ossining residents would be better served by a senator in Westchester. Republican Senator Greg Ball who primarily represents areas north of us in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties, would be more connected to us geographically.
Maintaining Ossining as part of District 37, or including us as part of District 35, would more fairly represent our demographic constituency as well as allow for our senator to easily connect to us geographically.
I implore you to veto the Republicans’ proposed senate districts; restore Ossining’s senate district to the east side of the Hudson; and draw lines that honor the needs of NYS constituents above partisan incumbency.