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New York State Redistricting Commission Sets Virtual Hearing Schedule

July 16, 2021 by Dan McCue
New York State Capitol, Albany. (Photo by Dan McCue)

New York State’s Independent Redistricting Commission will begin a series of virtual hearings on Tuesday, hoping to get a jump on the map-making process before the release of final 2020 Census data in August.

In announcing the hearing dates, the commission also unveiled a new website that will allow state residents to interact with the newly formed independent panel.

Through the website residents will be able to sign up to participate in hearings, submit their community of interest in writing or submit their own map of their community.

“We are thrilled to be embarking on New York’s first independent redistricting effort. However, this process will only work if the public makes its voice heard,” said Commission Chair David Imamura in a written statement.

“We have created a process that we hope maximizes the opportunities for all New Yorkers to describe their communities and articulate how their districts can be improved,” he said.

Vice-Chair Jack Martins described the start of the hearings as an “historic” moment for the state of New York.

“We are looking forward to working with the public to realize the potential of the constitutional amendment,” he said. 

To participate in a hearing, members of the public must sign up through the website for the regional hearing encompassing their community.

If a resident cannot attend a hearing but would like to participate, they can submit testimony through the website as well. 

The dates of the hearings and the regions of the state they will cover are listed below:

  • Tuesday, July 20 Nassau/Suffolk counties;
  • Thursday, July 22 Queens county; 
  • Monday, July 26 Bronx/New York counties;
  • Thursday, July 29 Kings and Richmond counties; 
  • Monday, Aug. 2 Mid-Hudson Valley/Capital Region;
  • Thursday, Aug. 5 North Country/Mohawk Valley regions;
  • Monday, Aug. 9 Southern Tier/Central NY regions; and
  • Thursday, Aug. 12 Finger Lakes/Western NY regions.

All hearings are at 2 p.m. and will be livestreamed on the commission’s website.

Following the virtual hearings and the release of the official census data the commission will release its first redistricting proposal to the public on Sept. 15. 

The commission will then schedule the constitutionally required hearings for additional public input on the proposed map in the fall.

Redistricting authorities in Pennsylvania have also launched a redistricting website and announced a schedule for public hearings on congressional redistricting. The first hearing will be on July 22. A full list of hearing dates is available here.

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