Brooklyn Boro

Letter to the Editor: April 28

Loss of One Congressional Seat Due To 2020 Census

April 28, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff

Dear Editor,

There is more to the story concerning NY losing one Congressional seat due to results from the 2020 census. Up until the 1970 reapportionment, NYC Congressional districts were usually 100 percent within the borough. The same was true for virtually all of the other 57 counties outside of NYC. Cities and towns were not split between districts. Today, too many districts in NYC divide neighborhoods and cross borough boundaries. In several cases, boundaries were drawn to create majority-minority districts. This was to ensure a particular ethnic group could elect one of their own.

In 1812, Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry signed a redistricting bill allowing his party to rig the drawing of district boundaries in their favor. This practice is known as gerrymandering today. With the results of the 2020 census, will Governor Andrew Cuomo, State Senate majority leader Andrea Steward Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie give up their redistricting power?

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As of February 2021, according to the State Board of Elections, there are 6,215,759 Democrats, 2,745,827 Republicans, 154,711 Conservatives, 44,358 Working Families, 463,961 Other, 2,795,205 Blank (no declared party) for a total of 12,420,821 active voters. The numbers show that Democrats have nothing to fear from an honest reapportionment for State Assembly, Senate, and Congressional district boundaries. The 2022 General Election outcome will still result in Democratic majorities in Albany and Washington. Why not allow the League of Women voters or some other impartial group to redraw district boundaries preventing one party from stacking the deck in their favor?

– Larry Penner (in response to the April 27 article: “NY state to lose seat in Congress, for lack of 89 census returns.”)

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