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This edition: Politics in the Empire State: Redistricting Reform in New York?

Episode Details

Original tape date: March 1, 2011.

Moderator Bob Liff and a panel of observers debate the growing controversy surrounding non-partisan redistricting in New York State.  Every 10 years, the Census is conducted and legislative districts are re-drawn to ensure that New Yorkers are equally represented and can exercise meaningful political choices.  While “Gerrymandering” continues to be a major problem throughout the nation—at all levels of government—New York State’s lawmakers have earned special notoriety for redrawing legislative districts in order to ensure their own re-election and party control.  The practice dominates in both houses of the State Legislature, where the Assembly has been controlled by the Democratic Party and the Senate has been controlled by the Republican Party.  Critics contend that politicians are “choosing” their voters, rather than being chosen by them.  Former Mayor Ed Koch and a group called NY Uprising have set their sights on Independent Redistricting reform in order to ensure fairness in representation.  The March 1 panel weighs the reforms advocated by citizens and good government groups alike, debating the practicality and promise of non-partisan redistricting in the Empire State.

Guest List

Michael Aronson New York Daily News

Angelo Falcón President & Co-Founder, National Institute for Latino Policy

Bob Liff Senior Vice President, George Arzt Communications

Ms. Esmeralda Simmons Director, Center Law & Justice, Medgar Evers College/CUNY

Hon. Edward Sullivan New York State Assembly (A.D. 69)