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Letters to The Editor: May 6, 2011

‘Questions to Mr. Mangano from the Westbury-New Cassel Community’

Why are the County Executive and the Republican-controlled Nassau County Legislature proposing a plan that will dilute the influence of minorities on County government? 

New Cassel and the portion of Westbury east of Post Avenue both fall into Nassau County Legislative District 2 along with Hempstead and Lakeview. The creation of LD2, which is predominantly black and Hispanic, was ordered by the Federal courts in the early 90s to ensure that the minority community had a voice in the County legislature. But the current plan to re-district (change the boundaries of LD2) proposed by Mangano and his cohorts in the legislature put that at risk. Mangano and his TEAM have cynically added Old Westbury and a portion of East Meadow to the district in addition to removing Lakeview and half of Hempstead. The effect of these changes is to dilute the voices of minorities that the district was created to protect. Why?  

Why is there a mad rush by County Executive Mangano to adopt this plan?

Redistricting in Nassau County has always happened in a year ending with a three (e.g., 2003). Congressional districts and New York State’s legislative redistricting is planned for 2013. And, this will occur only after a year and a half of deliberation to consider the impact on local communities. During this period the public is provided with numerous opportunities to provide input. But, this year, for the first time, Nassau County is going it alone and rushing forward with a plan that will go into effect in November 2011. Mangano’s County Attorney developed the plan in less than three weeks without input from anyone. The public will only be given one opportunity (May 9 at 10 a.m.) to be heard. What is the rush? The ink has not even dried on a plan that will impact our community for the next 10 years and the Legislature has already scheduled a vote on May 16 without providing sufficient time to fully consider the implication of this plan. Why? 

This community needs answers from Nassau County Executive Mangano. Sacrificing our community and not listening to our voice ignores the law.

I urge you to join me for the public hearing scheduled for May 9 at the county Legislature (1550 Franklin Ave., Mineola).