Press Release: NYC Council Unity Map Released

From our friends at AALDEF:

Civil Rights Groups Announce Unity Map for NYC Council Redistricting and 9/4 Press Conference

Thursday, Aug 30, 2012

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), LatinoJustice PRLDEF, National Institute for Latino Policy (NILP), and the Center for Law and Social Justice (CLSJ) of Medgar Evers College have released the NYC Council Unity Map, a joint proposal for new City Council districts that reflects New York City’s changing demographics and protects the voting rights of Blacks, Latinos, and Asian Americans.

AALDEF, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, NILP, and CLSJ will hold a joint press conference on the Unity Map on Tuesday, September 4 at 12 noon on the steps of City Hall. Please RSVP to usehgal@aaldef.org or 212.966.5932 ex.217.

To read more and see the maps, go to http://bit.ly/unitymaps.

Unity Maps

AABANY Testifies at City Council Districting Commission

On August 16, AABANY, through its Executive Director Yang Chen, gave testimony at a public hearing convened by the City Council Districting Commission.  AABANY testified as a member of ACCORD, the Asian American Community Coalition on Redistricting and Democracy, and urged the Commission to draw lines that kept communities of interest together in Manhattan.  Citing the Voting Rights Act and applicable Supreme Court precedent, AABANY indicated that the current district lines in Chinatown and the Lower East Side may not comport with legal requirements.  As part of its testimony, AABANY submitted a copy of its March 2003 letter to the Department of Justice, which dealt with the same issue.  To read the testimony and the letter, go to bit.ly/blog_Testimny_CityCnclDstrctngComm

Press Release: Congratulations to Linda S. Lin on Nomination to City Council Districting Commission

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 4, 2012

Contact:  Yang Chen – (718) 228-7206
 
 

ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK APPLAUDS

CITY COUNCIL APPOINTMENT OF LINDA S. LIN TO DISTRICTING COMMISSION

NEW YORK – May 4, 2012 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (“AABANY”) welcomes the news that City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Minority Leader James Oddo announced eight appointments to the Districting Commission on May 3.  The Districting Commission meets once every ten years following the decennial census.  Based upon changes in the population of the City, Council district lines are redrawn to accommodate shifts in population within the City.  

“I am pleased to announce the Democratic Caucus appointments to the Districting Commission,” said Speaker Quinn. “These five individuals together with the appointees of Mayor Bloomberg and the Council’s Minority Caucus will take on the important task of redrawing our electoral districts fairly. I want to thank them for their leadership, for the challenging work they will do, and for their service to our City. ”

Among the Council appointments is:

Linda S. Lin

Ms. Lin is a senior attorney with Liberty International Underwriters and a former Associate of the law firm of Willkie Farr & Gallagher.  Ms. Lin is the Immediate Past President of the Asian American Bar Association of New York.  She is the former law clerk for U.S. District Judge Dora L. Irizarry.  She is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School and Binghamton University. She resides in Forest Hills, Queens.

 “AABANY is pleased that the City Council has appointed our Immediate Past President Linda Lin to this important position,” said AABANY President Jean Lee. “Linda has been following the redistricting issue closely and is well-informed about the impact that properly drawn district lines will have on the civic engagement of under-represented populations, including the Asian American community.  With the explosive growth of the Asian American population in New York City over the past decade, we hope that the City Council Districting Commission will draw lines taking into account this significant demographic shift. We applaud the City Council on its appointment of Linda Lin.  We believe she will prove to be an asset to the City Council Districting Commission.” 

For more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (718) 228-7206, or direct any inquiries to main@aabany.org.

The Asian American Bar Association of New York is a professional membership organization of attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community.  Incorporated in 1989, AABANY seeks not only to encourage the professional growth of its members but also to advocate for the Asian Pacific American community as a whole.  AABANY is the New York regional affiliate of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).

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Additional information about AABANY is available at www.aabany.org

Find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=14621118148

Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aabany

Village Voice: Advocates Look Toward Next Redistricting Frontier: City Council Lines

Village Voice: Advocates Look Toward Next Redistricting Frontier: City Council Lines

Capital New York: Council Redistricting Bearing No Resemblance to Albany’s

Capital New York: Council Redistricting Bearing No Resemblance to Albany’s

ACCORD Statement on LATFOR’s Final Versions of State Senate and Assembly Maps

STATEMENT ON LATFOR’S FINAL VERSIONS OF STATE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY DISTRICTS

BY THE ASIAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY COALITION ON REDISTRICTING
AND DEMOCRACY (ACCORD)

Late on Sunday, the NY state legislature introduced a bill containing slightly revised district plans for New York State Senate and New York State Assembly.  Yesterday evening, the maps of these revised district plans were made public on the website belonging to the New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR).

LATFOR adopted some changes recommended by member organizations of the Asian American Community Coalition on Redistricting and Democracy (ACCORD).  This comes after a second round of public hearings in February, in which ACCORD members commented on LATFOR’s initial proposals which were released on January 26th.  Now, seeing the revised and final products, ACCORD notes important positive changes that reflect input given by the coalition.

 ON THE SENATE PLAN:

ACCORD members are pleased to see that specific improvements have been made to Senate District 16, the first majority Asian Senate district.  While noting some positive changes that further improve upon the district, ACCORD remains critical of voter dilution from other Senate districts.

Senate District 16 is an important, complicated district.  If adopted, it would be 53% Asian according to the 2010 Census.  ACCORD has advocated for a majority Asian Senate district and the proposed district was LATFOR’s response to the coalition’s position.  This final configuration of SD16 incorporates recommendations made by ACCORD members, including the following:

o    More of Flushing has been included, though not wholly.

o    Bay Terrace, the large gerrymandered area in the Northeast corner of the current and proposed SD16, has been removed and included in SD11.

o    More of Elmhurst is now included.

Unfortunately, there are several significant problems, despite ACCORD’s strong recommendations to LATFOR in last month’s hearings.

–          Foremost, this plan does not create a majority Asian Senate district in Queens that is anchored in Flushing and remains compact, contiguous and respects the various communities of interest in and around the Flushing/Bayside area.  Specifically, Flushing remains divided between SD16 and SD11, and many Asian Americans living in Fresh Meadows are now excluded, although they were part of the initial maps.

–          The Briarwood/Jamaica Hills area continues to be divided and micro-gerrymandered between SD11 and SD14.

–          In Brooklyn, the massive Chinatown in Sunset Park and Bensonhurst will continue to be sharply divided, with the core of Sunset Park’s Asian American community being split/cracked almost down the middle.  The plan uses 8th Avenue as an inappropriate boundary between two districts.

 ON THE ASSEMBLY PLAN:

The districts covering the city’s Asian American communities of interest in the Assembly’s plan are largely unchanged.  Our positions and comments remain the same.

The Asian American Community Coalition On Redistricting and Democracy (ACCORD) is a non-partisan coalition of organizations and individuals committed to advancing the opportunities of Asian Pacific American and minority communities to meaningfully participate in the political process.  ACCORD recognizes that redistricting plays a pivotal and fundamental role in these opportunities, and supports redistricting plans that keep together communities of interest that exist in and around ethnic neighborhoods across New York.

ACCORD Statement on EDNY Proposed Maps

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 6, 2012

 

For more information, contact:

James Hong

718.460.5600

james.hong@minkwon.org

STATEMENT ON FEDERAL COURT’S PROPOSED MAPS

BY THE ASIAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY COALITION ON REDISTRICTING
AND DEMOCRACY (ACCORD)

Earlier than expected, the magistrate tasked by the “Special Master” panel of federal judges to redraw Congressional lines released a proposal this morning.  U.S. Congress is the highest level of government that is affected by redistricting.  These lines will be adopted unless the majorities of the Senate and Assembly can come to an agreement and pass their own version of the Congressional maps that Cuomo will sign. 

While there are some exceptions, for most Asian American communities of interest in New York City, the proposal is positive.  In fact, there seems to be a strong acknowledgement of the Unity Map drawn by civil rights groups, including the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), and supported by ACCORD.  ACCORD finds that this proposal, on the whole, is a clear improvement from the current Congressional lines – especially in Queens, where voter dilution in Northeast Queens has hampered the ability of our communities to have a voice in Congressional elections.

ACCORD has the following specific comments on significant areas for the Asian American community:

QUEENS:

·         The proposed Congressional District (CD) 6, if adopted, would be a Congressional district with the highest concentration of Asian Americans ever created.  At nearly 40% of the district (37.9%), the Asian American community of Northeast Queens would have major influence in a Congressional seat.

·         This district is nearly identical to District 5 recommended in the Unity Map, drafted by AALDEF and endorsed by ACCORD (see http://aaldef.org/unity-map.html)

·         The significant voter dilution of Asian American voters in Northeast Queens between the current CD 5 and CD 9 (Flushing, Bayside, Auburndale, Queensboro Hills, Fresh Meadows and Oakland Gardens) is corrected by this proposal.

·         This proposed district also keeps together the neighborhoods of Woodside and Jackson Heights in CD 14.

·         This proposal could be improved if Bellerose could be connected with Queens.

MANHATTAN AND BROOKLYN (including Manhattan’s Chinatown and Sunset Park):

·         ACCORD is pleased that CD 7 recognizes (as does the current CD 12) there is a community of common interest between Sunset Park and Manhattan’s Chinatown, and keeps these together in one district.

·         This district is very similar to the proposed District 12 in the Unity Map.

 

The Asian American Community Coalition On Redistricting and Democracy (ACCORD) is a non-partisan coalition of organizations and individuals committed to advancing the opportunities of Asian Pacific American and minority communities to meaningfully participate in the political process.  ACCORD recognizes that redistricting plays a pivotal and fundamental role in these opportunities, and supports redistricting plans that keep together communities of interest that exist in and around ethnic neighborhoods across New York.

Times Union Editorial: Shame on you, legislators

Times Union Editorial: Shame on you, legislators