ALBANY, N.Y. The newly redrawn district lines for the state assembly became official this week pending the expected approval of the federal government and Assembly member Robert Castelli (R, C Goldens Bridge) said he was not happy with the end results.
Castellis old district, District 89, is now renamed District 93. It will still include the towns of Lewisboro, Pound Ridge, Bedford, Harrison, Mt. Kisco, New Castle and North Castle. However, under the new map, it will now include the Town of North Salem and will change some of the territory covered in White Plains.
The Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reappointment (LATFOR), the entity responsible for creating new legislative maps, presented the new maps on Thursday. The legislature voted to approve them and Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed off on them. Castelli said he voted against the plan.
These maps were drafted behind closed doors with little meaningful public and community input, Castelli said. This is not the type of government reform that I have been calling for. I am truly dismayed that far too many of my colleagues were unable to rise to the occasion and do what is best for our state and the people we represent.
Castellis new district now includes a significant area of downtown White Plains and loses a portion of the suburbs. According to Castellis office, his district is now made up of about 39,000 Democrats, 21,000 Republicans, while the rest about 25,000 are either independents or belong to some other party.
Castelli said he hopes a constitutional amendment recently passed by the legislature, which must be approved by a voter referendum, will change the way redistricting is done in the future.
While I was deeply disappointed by this years redistricting process, which resulted in politicians choosing their constituents instead of the other way around, the Legislature was able to pass a constitutional amendment to create a fairer and more independent process moving forward, he said. The constitutional amendment to change how the Legislatures lines are drawn is an important step in improving New Yorks redistricting process, but more needs to be done to ensure that communities and ethnic groups have better representation in Albany.
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