February 13, 2012
Advocates for racial minorities say LI districts unfair
More than 25 organizations representing minorities held a meeting to analyze and discuss the impacts of the Legislative Task Force on Redistricting's newly proposed district lines on racial minorities in Long Island, according to Make the Road New York.
From its Feb. 6 meeting came a clear consensus among the groups that ethnic minorities would be poorly and unfairly represented if the new Assembly and Senate district lines were passed as currently drafted.
"These maps want to divide the Latino and African American communities of Brentwood and Central Islip by undermining and dissolving our power as an electoral bloc. We have come together to stop that," said Frank Sprouse, a member of Make the Road New York.
The proposed Long Island Senate maps have also garnered criticism from good-government groups. Common Cause claims that on the island, black and Hispanic communities grew by 40 percent, and make up more than 20 percent of the voting population. However, the advocacy group said "the Long Island State Senate delegation is composed of nine white male Republicans."
The Long Island Immigrant Alliance called for the governor to veto the lines if they pass as-is.
"[The] forum powerfully demonstrated the Latino and African American communities' political ascendancy on Long Island. The Latino community can no longer be taken for granted. The new LATFOR maps continue to dilute our vote, and we demand a fair revision," said Luis Valenzuela, executive director of the Immigrant Alliance.
A spokesman for Sen. Michael Nozzolio, the Republican co-chair of LATFOR, said he could not comment on behalf of the senator in regards to minority representation on Long Island.
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