The Orange County Democratic Alliance applauds the recent vote by the Orange County legislature to defeat the proposed county legislative redistricting plan.
The proposed map would have stacked minority voters in the City of Newburgh, creating a super-majority minority district and thus diluting the electoral strength of the City’s minority population. The proposed map would have created a district 85% minority and another 55% minority rather than two districts of roughly 70% minority population concentrations.
The Democratic Alliance believes that the legislature must now promptly create a bi-partisan redistricting commission which should produce a new map by September 30, 2013 for legislative approval this calendar year. The new map should respect the Voting Rights Act and the principle of one person/one vote.
Michael Sussman, the Democratic Alliance convener commented, "We regret that the 2013 election will be conducted using the districts created in 2005 and recognize that using these districts violates the critical principle of one person/one vote. But, this is the fault of no one except the legislature, which rejected Minority leader Berkman’s sensible proposal for a bi-partisan and inclusionary approach last year and was extremely dilatory in producing re-districting maps for public discussion this year. We need and expect a more transparent process going forward."