Gothamist: “Redistricting Means Power”: Everyday New Yorkers Get A Say In Carving Out Their District Lines
By David Cruz/Gothamist
For the first time in state history, everyday New Yorkers will get first dibs in how they define their state and federal legislative districts, part of a decennial process previously left only to lawmakers. That process begins with outlining neighborhood borders, which advocates hope can ultimately increase the clout locals have with their representatives.
Jerry Vattamala, an attorney with the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, pointed out that Asian enclaves in Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park have seven Assembly districts, presenting barriers for the ethnic voting bloc in electing an Asian to the Assembly.
“This was the case 10 years ago. It was the most divided neighborhood in the entire city and this cannot stand,” Vattamala said. “Given the changing demographics of New York City, Asian Americans continue to be severely underrepresented in New York State Legislature and in Congress.”