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Thursday, October 2, 2014
Town Board OK’s redistricting plan
(Page 2 of 3)
Vikas Girdhar/Herald
Councilman Anthony Santino moderated the hearing on redistricting and addressed concerns of angry residents on April 9.

“We make sure that each district is as near in equal population as possible,” Santino said. “That’s one of the purposes of redistricting. The map is proposed by the town and complies with the Constitution, the Voting Rights Act and all applicable federal laws. Redistricting accounts for the concept of ‘one man, one vote.’”

The Democratic Committee and the League of Women Voters of Nassau County separately presented their own maps to counter the town Republicans’ proposal. Speakers from both groups stressed the need for two minority-majority districts, which are districts in which a majority of residents are members of racial minorities.

"The demographics have changed in the last ten years and this new map doesn't represent what exists now. The town doesn't think the numbers support this. Both organizations found the numbers do.The new map is depriving people of like interest from choosing their representatives," said Woodmere resident Michael Turi.

Democratic Committee First Deputy Leader Bob Young said that the district boundaries should have better reflected communities of common interests. Young promised a lawsuit against the town.

Barbara Epstein, co-president of the League of Women Voters of Nassau County, said that she is advocating for fair and transparent planning from the Town of Hempstead and for the creation of a second minority-majority district.

Epstein also said that an issue of such importance deserves to be discussed in more than one morning meeting.

“We believe that the redistricting of Hempstead’s councilmanic districts has significant ramifications for the people of the town [and should not] have just one hearing,” Epstein said. “Today should not be the only opportunity to address the redistricting, which will have lasting effects on all of us for the next 10 years.”

Ra said that the opportunity to create a second minority-majority district did not present itself because District One was overpopulated and had to be reshuffled a bit, but was still kept 99.4 percent intact. District One is represented by Dorothy Goosby, the only Democrat on the board.

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