Friday, 03 February 2012 00:00
The League is extremely disappointed that there has been no change in the legislatively-controlled LATFOR process that produced the proposed state legislative district lines. The League for decades has called for an independent commission to draw fair lines devoid of partisan gerrymandering.
Competitive elections are the lifeblood of democracy and these proposed lines are drawn to ensure political incumbency of the parties in power for the next decade. It is therefore no surprise that they have been the subject of so much criticism given the inherent self-interest of the process. One of the first, and clearest, critiques of the lines comes from our colleague Bill Mahoney at NYPIRG, who looked at a rising population inequality among all the districts. His analysis makes evident that the process has resulted in even more gerrymandered lines in the state Senate than those produced through previous cycles of political gerrymandering.
We expect that the public demand for reform shown over this last year allows for a unique opportunity in time to fundamentally alter the redistricting process in this state. The governor has publicly stated that these lines are unacceptable and he will consider a veto. We agree. The league will work with the governor and the legislature to realize lasting structural reform to this fundamentally flawed redistricting process. The certainty of achieving reform for 2022 is critical.