citizens union position statement
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Contact Dick Dadey, 917-709-2896


107 State Legislators Support Legislation
to Create an Independent Redistricting Commission
Demonstrating Broad Support for Issue

Citizens Union today released a list (presented below) of 107 state legislators who have expressed support over the past few years for legislation creating a nonpartisan independent redistricting commission to draw district lines for state and congressional lines in 2011 and 2012 once the census numbers have been determined. Of the 107 legislators, 81 are members of the Assembly and 26 are State Senators.

Legislators were identified as supporters of such a commision either because they co-sponsored one of several related pieces of redistricting reform legislation over the past few years, made a clear public statement in support, or answered in the affirmative to a question on the matter in either a 2004, 2006, or 2008 candidate questionnaire submitted to Citizens Union.

Information about co-sponsorship has been drawn from several different pieces of legislation that have been introduced between 2005 and 2010. Several bills have been proposed amending the state constitution to create a stand-alone redistricting commission that would require no approval of the redistricting plan from the state legislature. Presently under the state constitution, the state legislature has the authority to pass a final redistricting plan. With insufficient time remaining to amend the constitution to form a commission to draw the lines by 2012 without legislative approval, Citizens Union strongly supports legislation sponsored by Mike Gianaris in the State Assembly and David Valesky in the State Senate that creates an alternative independent process that would ultimately require approval by the state legislature of any redistricting plan drawn by an independent citizens commission.

This news comes on the heels of Monday’s announcement by former Mayor Ed Koch and New York Uprising that four announced or presumed candidates for governor have pledged to support the creation of an independent redistricting commission and veto any legislation that contains lines solely drawn by the legislature.

Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union, said, “The fact that 107 state legislators support the creation of an independent redistricting commission demonstrates that this issue has broad support within the legislature and that it is ripe for action. It is clear that many legislators understand the public clamor for reform which is why so many have expressed support for such an idea. Central to reforming our state government is changing the rules of the game and ending the practice of legislators choosing their voters before the voters choose them. Letting legislators draw their own lines is akin to letting banks regulate themselves. We wouldn’t let the banks do that, so why should we let legislators draw their own lines? It defies common sense.”

Redistricting reform is the top state reform priority for Citizens Union, which believes that this one change will achieve meaningful improvement of how our state government functions.

A list of those legislators who support an independent commission to draw state legislative and congressional district lines appears in the table below.

A given legislator's support for independent redistricting was determined through:
  1. Responses the legislator made to Citizens Union candidate questionnaires in 2004, 2006, and/or 2008, as indicated by a "Y".
  2. Cosponsorship of independent redistricting legislation this year or in past years, which is indicated by an "S".
Assembly District Assemblymember Supports the establishment of an Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission charged with drawing congressional and state legislative lines
1 Alessi S
2 Thiele S
5 Fields S
6 Ramos S
9 Raia S
10 Conte S
13 Lavine S
22 Meng Y
23 Pheffer Y, S
25 Lancman Y, S
26 Carrozza Y
27 Mayersohn Y
28 Hevesi S
29 Scarborough Y
33 Clark S
36 Gianaris Y, S
40 Barron Y
43 Camara Y, S
44 Brennan Y, S
45 Cymbrowitz Y
46 Brook-Krasny Y
47 Colton Y
52 Millman Y, S
55 Boyland Y, S
57 Jeffries Y, S
58 Perry Y
60 Hyer-Spencer Y
62 Tobacco Y, S
63 Cusick Y
65 Kellner S
66 Glick Y
67 Rosenthal Y, S
68 Powell Y, S
69 O'Donnell Y
70 Wright Y
72 Espaillat Y, S
73 Bing Y, S
74 Kavanagh Y, S
76 Rivera Y
81 Dinowitz Y, S
82 Benedetto Y
86 Castro S
88 Paulin S
90 Galef S
91 Latimer S
92 Brodsky S
93 Spano S
96 Calhoun S
98 Gunther S
101 Cahill S
102 Miller, J. S
103 Molinaro S
107 Crouch S
108 Gordon S
109 Reilly S
110 Tedisco S
111 Magee S
112 Jordan S
113 Sayward S
114 Duprey S
117 Butler S
119 Christensen S
121 Stirpe S
122 Scozzafava S
123 Finch S
124 Barclay S
126 Lupardo S
128 Oaks S
129 Kolb S
130 Errigo S
131 John S
134 Reilich S
135 Koon S
138 DelMonte S
140 Schimminger S
142 Corwin S
144 Hoyt S
145 Schroeder S
146 Quinn S
147 Burling S
149 Giglio S
Total: 81

Senate District Senator Supports the establishment n Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission charged with drawing congressional and state legislative lines
7 Johnson, C S
12 Onorato Y
13 Peralta Y, S
14 Smith Publicly announced support in 2006
15 Addabbo Y
16 Stavisky Y
17 Dilan Y
18 Montgomery Y
19 Sampson S
20 Adams Y
21 Parker Y
23 Savino Y, S
25 Squadron S
26 Krueger Y, S
28 Serrano Y, S
29 Duane Y
30 Perkins Y
31 Schneiderman Y
33 Espada Y
34 Klein Y
36 Hassell-Thompson Y
37 Oppenheimer S
42 Bonacic S
46 Breslin S
49 Valesky S
57 Young S
Total: 26

Citizens Union of the City of New York, a nonpartisan force for good government for more than 100 years, works to inform and engage New Yorkers, to ensure local and state government values its citizens, addresses critical issues, and operates in a fair, open, and fiscally sound manner.

299 Broadway, Suite 700, New York, NY 10007-1976
Peter J. W. Sherwin, Chair • Dick Dadey, Executive Director •