Anchin agreed with Stonehill that the plan may ultimately be decided in court. “The plan needs to meet all the constitutional requirements for redistricting, and I don’t believe it fits those criteria; it’s blatant gerrymandering,” Anchin said. “It doesn’t reflect the interests of Nassau County, and it needs to be reconsidered.”
Frank Moroney, chairman of the redistricting commission, said that the proposed map was designed with three goals in mind: to fulfill the constitutional requirements to create districts as close to the optimal population as possible in order to meet the “one person, one vote” standard; to respect political subdivisions, community and minority interests; and to keep districts compact and contiguous where possible.
Ann Salpeter Schockett, a Woodmere resident and president of the Nassau County Federation of Republican Women, said that a debate is productive, and a chance for legislators to hear the people’s opinions. “The redistricting plan is about the people, and should reflect the needs of our population, which is changing,” she said.
Schockett added that the organization has studied the map extensively. “While it meets the standards of voting rights and the constitutional standards of traditional redistricting, as president I feel that while geographically named areas are aligned on the maps, communities are formed within those lines,” she said. “It’s easier to deal with one legislator for an entire community. It’s our hope that legislators will continue to work together to solve problems within specific GOP political boundaries.”
Kopel said he would like the 7th district, which includes the Five Towns, Bay Park, Island Park, North Woodmere, Mill Brook and parts of Oceanside and East Rockaway, to remain together, but he understands that changes have to be made.
“I would love to keep my district the way it is — I love the people, and I think they’re comfortable with me,” he said. “But that’s not likely, because things have to change somewhat but the less changes, the better.”
Nancy Rosenthal, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Nassau County and a Hewlett resident, accused the legislators of ignoring the will of the people.