GOP redistricting their way to power?

STEPHON JOHNSON Amsterdam News Staff | 5/27/2011, 4:14 p.m.

"The first map produced by that ruling created two legislative districts fully capable of electing minority community-preferred legislators," Yatauro continued. "This power grab attempt by the Republicans waters down the impact of minority voters through a series of deliberate community boundary changes into newly reconfigured districts. It is a shameful violation of our laws, past precedents and the rights of minority voters. We are working in the legislature as well as in the courts to bring an immediate halt to this disgraceful action."

Nassau County Legislators Judy Jacobs and Kevan Abrahams both focused on the legality of the GOP's practices since conservatives have claimed to have found a loophole in one ordinance, which says redistricting must be done in the six months after the release of new census data. Both say the GOP is misinterpreting the law.

"As far as we're concerned, they are forging precedent and legalities," said Jacobs. "It did not have bipartisan input or community input into the plan. Seventy percent of my district is being taken out all together. It's a political power grab. It's not even been 10 years since the last redistricting. It's only been eight years."

"They have not made the communities who are impacted aware of this," said Abrahams. "The loophole they found indicates that we need to de- scribe how redistricting will go forward, but the law only indicated 'describe.' In 2001, all we did was indicate how the cur- rent district would be impacted with the new Census numbers so that we can prepare through the redistricting com- mission on how we'd go about this. This took two years."

According to Abrahams, the GOP said they'd also set up a commission, but only after re- districting had taken place. "It makes no sense," he said.

"We have done some serious mobilizing, and we have been spreading the word through- out Nassau County and the state of New York," said Co- ads. "And believe it or not, it's known outside of New York what Nassau County is trying to do."

"[This] is not what the NAACP is going to tolerate," said Coads about the redistricting plans. They have a lot more work to do.