County News

Legislative map could be challenged


There may be court challenges of Nassau County’s new legislative map that was approved last week.

The County Legislature approved the controversial plan along party lines on March 5, with the 10 Republicans voting in favor of the new map and the nine Democrats voting against it. Redistricting was required to balance out the size of the county’s 19 legislative districts following the 2010 census.

The new map drastically changes the look of most districts. Two Democrats would be merged into one district, and two Republicans would end up in another.

“The Legislature has fulfilled its obligations pursuant to the county charter,” said Presiding Officer Norma

Gonsalves, a Republican from East Meadow. “The Legislature must come together to work on the pressing government issues and finances of the county. The focus now shifts from redistricting to those issues.”

However, Kevan Abrahams, a Democrat from Hempstead who is the minority leader, said he does not believe this issue is settled. He said he expects the map to face several legal challenges. The nine Democratic legislators will likely file suit, Abrahams said, claiming that the process by which it was created did not follow the county charter.

The new map does a disservice to the residents of Nassau County, Abrahams said, noting that several communities would be divided among more than one district. “The splitting of Hempstead, and Elmont and the Five Towns and Roslyn, among other areas, is wrong,” he said.

Several organizations have called for County Executive Ed Mangano, a Republican, to veto the map. Those groups include the Nassau County League of Women Voters, Common Cause NY, the Nassau County chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union, Long Island Civic Engagement Table and New York Communities for Change, among others.

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