A Change In Representation With Redrawn District Maps

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On Memorial Day, State Senator Anna Kaplan approached the podium stationed at Monument Park in Glen Cove with State Assemblyman Charles Lavine to honor the fallen and share in the pride of community member and veteran David Hubbard, who was the grand marshal of the parade that day.

Kaplan’s appearance on that Memorial Day morning represented a change for herself and the community. Kaplan currently represents Mineola, Westbury, Port Washington and other surrounding communities. But, after the redrawing of the district maps, she will be representing Glen Cove, Oyster Bay, Port Washington, and surrounding areas, as long as she wins this year’s election.

“I would like people to know who I am,” Kaplan said of her Glen Cove appearance. “I have about a 40 percent new district… I want to make sure that I reach out, introduce myself for them to get to know me, who I am, what I stand for, what I’ve done, what my record is and hopefully what I will do for them and how I will represent them.”

As described by Ballot Pedia, redistricting is the process of enacting new congressional and state legislative district boundaries.

On May 20, Justice Patrick McAllister ordered the adoption of a new congressional map and new state senate map drawn by redistricting special master Jonathan Cervas. Earlier this year, on Feb. 3, Governor Kathy Hochul signed the assembly map into law. These new maps will go into effect after New York’s 2022 legislative elections.

“It’s a little bittersweet for me,” Kaplan said. “I have, not just myself, but all of my staff, [made an effort] the last four years to get to know every part of the district, to build relationships, build bridges between different communities and different activists, leaders, faith leaders, all different communities. And, it’s hard to say goodbye to 40 percent of the district, especially 40 percent of the district that needed my advocacy.”

If Kaplan is re-elected as part of representing District 7, she would lose representation over some of Mineola, Westbury, Elmont, Floral Park, South Floral Park, Carle Place and Franklin Square. But she would gain Glen Cove, Greenvale, the Brookvilles, Muttontown and parts of Plainview and Syosset.

Lavine would also have substantial changes to his district if re-elected.

“It’s not as different as some of the other districts, so it’s 60 percent the same and 40 percent new,” Lavine said, adding that new to his district would be “parts of Old Westbury and all of Westbury, and all of Bayville and it starts at Sagamore Hill, which I was hoping would stay in the 13th Assembly District (Lavine’s newly drawn district.)”

The newly drawn districts do bring some complications.

“The greatest dramatic changes have occurred to the congressional districts and as a result, we have sitting members of the House of Representatives that will be primarying each other,” Lavine said. “In the State Senate, we have Republican senators whose districts have been substantially re-drawn, and they’ll be running against each other as well.”
This is all part of democracy, Lavine said.

State Sen. James Gaughran, who on May 31 announced he was not running for re-election, made the following statement:

“When I first ran for the State Senate in 2016, I ran to break the logjam in Albany, to pass critical legislation that languished for decades under the Republican majority. Since taking office in 2018, we’ve done just that. In the last four sessions, we’ve: codified a woman’s right to seek an abortion; secured justice long overdue for survivors of child abuse; passed groundbreaking gun safety measures including a Red Flag Law, a Safe Storage Law and a ban on Ghost Guns; set nation-leading environmental standards and water protections; strengthened union protections, guaranteed a prevailing wage for public projects, and approved the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act; took on bias in the workplace, the housing market and public safety; and we’ve begun the process to finally get rid of PSEG’s mismanagement and bring Public Power back to Long Island. I’ve also personally chaptered over 70 bills into law and my office has helped thousands of constituents with every issue imaginable amidst an unprecedented pandemic.

“I’m proud of everything the Democratic Conference has accomplished under Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins’ leadership in just two terms, and I am confident that they will hold that majority moving forward. But the electoral realities of my home district as drawn by the Special Master cannot be ignored. After speaking with my family, friends, and colleagues, I look forward to serving my district, my constituents and my state for the rest of my term.

“The unspeakable loss our state and our nation have shared in just the last two weeks demand action from our representatives in Washington. I also intend to spend the next five months working to elect Bridget Fleming and Jackie Gordon to Congress and helping any candidate – anywhere – that can bring the United States Senate to its senses.

“We’ve seen what inaction from Washington gets us. We’ve seen where the Supreme Court plans to take us. We all need to fight like hell for a better future. Our children deserve nothing less.”

Back in April, the New York State Court of Appeals threw out the district lines drawn by the Independent Redistricting Commission because “…the IRC and the legislature failed to follow the procedure commanded by the State Constitution. A stalemate within the IRC resulted in a breakdown in the mandatory process for submission of electoral maps to legislature.”

The opinion from the State of New York Court of Appeals argued the legislature responded by creating and enacting maps in a nontransparent manner “…controlled exclusively by the dominant political party, doing exactly what they would have done had the 2014 constitutional reforms never been passed.”

The document went on to argue that judicial oversight was required to facilitate the expeditious creation of constitutionally conforming maps for use in the 2022 elections and to safeguard the constitutionally protected right of New Yorkers to a fair election.”

Amid the changes, Lavine said he will miss working with his colleague Gaughran, but looks forward to working with Kaplan, both of whom Lavine described as dear friends.

“Those of us in office do not own these districts,” Lavine said. “Every 10 years, the constitution, wisely, requires that we conduct a census and determine where there have been demographic changes. All districts must be drawn to accommodate those changes.”

Your ballot for the Aug.23 primaries:

U.S. Congress District 3
Representing Glen Cove, Oyster Bay, Great Neck, Hicksville, Syosset, Jericho, Levittown, etc.
Candidates:
Melanie D’Arrigo (Democrat)
Jon Kaiman (Democrat)
Navjot Kaur (Democrat)
Joshua Lafazan (Democrat)
Reema Rascool (Democrat)
Robert Zimmerman (Democrat)
George Devolder-Santos (Republican)

State Senate District 7:
Representing Glen Cove, Oyster Bay, Port Washington, Syosset, etc.
Candidates:
Incumbent Anna Kaplan (Democrat)
Jeremy Joseph (Democrat)
Jack Martins (Republican)

State Assembly District 15:
Representing Oyster Bay, the Brookvilles, Syosset, etc.
Candidates:
Amanda Field (Democrat)
Jake Blumencranz (Republican)

State Assembly District 13:
Representing Glen Cove, Bayville, etc.
Incumbent Charles Lavine (Democrat)

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