Legislative redistricting: Let's get it right

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We encourage residents to attend at least one of a pair of upcoming hearings that will be hosted by the commission: next Monday night, at the county’s legislative chambers, and on Oct. 9, at Hempstead Town Hall. This is your chance to have your voice heard about the future of county government for the next 10 years.

That government impacts all of our lives. If you own a home, you pay county property taxes. If you drive, you probably use county roads. If you play golf, you may play at a county park. Because the county offers so many services that impact us from day to day, it’s crucial that we help determine who represents us. We should not only vote, but also speak out at these once-a-decade redistricting hearings.

Nancy Rosenthal, president of the Southwest Nassau chapter of the League of Women Voters, made a good point in a recent interview with the Herald. Redistricting isn’t just about who represents us now, but about who will be most likely to represent us in the future.

Voters need to do their part by making their voices heard — and so does the Redistricting Commission. It is composed of five Republicans and five Democrats, and there is always the possibility that they won’t be able to agree on a new map to be forwarded to the County Legislature.

We encourage commission members on both sides to listen carefully and respect what citizens have to say, and then to work cooperatively to develop a unified plan, one that takes into account the wishes of the electorate. We’ve seen too much fighting in county government. This is a great chance for an important panel to actually work together for the good of the people. Neither voters nor commission members should let that chance slip by.

While the Legislature has the final say on the new maps, legislators are less likely to create a politically motivated map if the Redistricting Commissions answers its charge of designing a fair redistricting plan. The future of our county government is at stake. Let’s get it right.

Public meetings
Wednesday, Oct. 3, 6 p.m.
Nassau County Legislative Chambers
1550 Franklin Ave., Mineola

Tuesday, Oct. 9, 6 p.m.
Hempstead Town Hall
1 Washington St., Hempstead

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