In a bid to ensure transparency and democratic participation in the redistricting process, the New York Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) is calling on the public to provide their input as it awaits a crucial decision from the Court of Appeals.
Legal challenge threatens plans
Democrats celebrated a July court ruling that decided that the bi-partisan IRC should redraw congressional districts. This followed a prior case before the 2022 election where the court sided with Republicans, leading to lines drawn by a special master. Now, Republicans are again determined to challenge the IRC in the state’s highest court. Although, a potentially dead-locked IRC would hand the process over to the Democratic-controlled state Legislature.
New York state holds several crucial battleground districts. Wins in the Hudson Valley and the New York City metro area contributed to the slim Republican House majority in 2022. Therefore, this appeal creates a pivotal showdown with potential ramifications for control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The November 15th appeal will determine whether or not a second congressional districting plan must by submitted.
Commission calls for feedback
IRC Chair Ken Jenkins of Yonkers, along with Commissioners Collado, Cuevas-Molina, Flateau, and Frazier, released a statement on October 2nd. In it, they emphasize the significance of public involvement. They reference that the commission fulfilled its obligation by holding public hearings earlier on in the process. Nonetheless, they now invite further input from the public as they prepare for a ruling from the Court of Appeals. This sentiment echoes a statement by the appellate court.
The right to participate in the democratic process is the most essential right in our system of governance.
Both the IRC district maps and the special master maps are publicly accessible. These documents can be viewed on the IRC website here.
If you wish to aid in the redistricting process, you can submit your input via two methods. Firstly, you may email comments to [email protected]
Alternatively, you may mail letters to:
Attention: Submissions, Independent Redistricting Commission
250 Broadway, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10007