Recently I’ve been thinking –
Advocacy can feel a bit like you’re operating in a silo. Your industry, your profession, your association, your initiatives, your talking points. Yes, coalitions and other means of collaboration occur but, on any given day or week there are hundreds if not thousands of other advocates functioning in a similar capacity.
Meanwhile, the legislature has its own priorities. Officials, their staff and the support team behind the scenes in each house including analysts, counsels and financial experts, are given the lofty responsibility to make it all happen – the personal priorities, the party priorities and issues raised by their constituents.
You’re probably thinking at this point – where is Bri going with this?
There are actions that are currently being considered that would have monumental impacts on how and what we advocate for. What are they? New district lines.
Seven years ago, voters approved a constitutional amendment that would establish a separate entity - outside the state legislature - to control the redistricting process. An independent commission was established with 10 members - split equally to represent each party.
The commission was tasked with creating a single map with congressional districts that they would present to the Legislature to adopt or reject. Unfortunately, the commission failed to agree on a single map and instead submitted two - one drawn by the Democrats on the panel, and another drawn by the Republicans.
The result? The legislature rejected the proposals and have proposed their own lines.
No matter your political affiliation or thoughts on the above process – I thought it was important for individuals to know - your district and therefore your representative in the Senate, Assembly, and perhaps, US Capitol – may look very different in the future.
If you’re interested in seeing the proposed legislative district lines (and the comparison with the current lines) – check out https://newyork.redistrictingandyou.org
*Update as of February 4th: Hours after New York state lawmakers on Thursday put the finishing touches on the redistricting process and Governor Hochul signed the new maps into law, a legal challenged was filed to reject the changes.