New York’s Hispanic population has grown by 19% since 2000, a rate that’s faster than any other group in the state. This should translate into increased representation, at all levels of government.
This logic, however, seems to make sense to everyone but the commission currently redrawing the state’s electoral map. The commission a heavily political group composed of four legislators and two civilians appointed by party leaders- is charged with adjusting state and congressional districts so that they reflect the demographic changes of the 2010 Census.
In a proposal presented last week by the commission, known as LATFOR, they did exactly the opposite. Instead of creating a map that reflects growing communities, they came out with a self-serving plan that would only benefit the Republican Party.
The unfair proposal conveniently adds a new senate district near Albany where Republicans have an easier time grabbing a seat, instead of creating one in New York City, which experienced the biggest population increase. The plan also accommodates smaller districts Upstate, giving disproportionate political power to the population outside of New York City.
What is even more glaring is the new map would reduce three heavily Latino districts in the Bronx a county that house the largest Hispanic communities in the state.
The process and its outcome are undemocratic and work to undermine the political strength of Latinos. Governor Cuomo has already said he would veto the political plan. Latino civil rights organizations are firing at the commission. The commission needs to go back to the drawing board and stop shortchanging the population that drove the state’s growth.