INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING CHAIR KEN JENKINS RECAPS REDISTRICTING METHODS COMMENTS ON THE COURT OF APPEALS DECISION

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WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. From New York State IRC CHAIR KEN JENKINS. December 16, 2023:

STATEMENT OF NEW YORK INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION CHAIR JENKINS AND COMMISSIONERS COLLADO, CUEVAS-MOLINA, FLATEAU, AND FRAZIER ON COURT OF APPEALS DECISION

New York Independent Redistricting Commission (“IRC”) Chair Ken Jenkins, and Commissioners Yovan Collado, Ivelisse Cuevas-Molina, John Flateau, and Elaine Frazier, welcome the Court of Appeals’ decision holding that “the people of New York are entitled to the” IRC “process set out in the Constitution, for which they voted,” and are eager to re-commence the process to submit proposed congressional districts to the Legislature.

We heartily thank all members of the public who submitted comments and participated in the IRC process.  In its December 12, 2023 ruling, the Court of Appeals stated that the IRC need not conduct any further solicitation of public commentary beyond what the IRC has done previously.

We are proud of the historic and robust public participation in the IRC process. The IRC engaged in nine public listening sessions between July and August 2021.  After releasing its draft maps, the IRC then conducted the constitutionally required twelve public hearings in the cities of Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, and White Plains, as well as Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, Richmond, Nassau, and Suffolk counties.  The IRC also held three additional public listening sessions that sought input from the Southern Tier, the North Country, and the State as a whole.

In all, from July 2021 through January 2022, the IRC conducted not only the twelve constitutionally required public hearings, but also an additional twelve listening sessions throughout the State.  During this time period, the IRC heard testimony from over 630 speakers, and received over 2,100 written submissions from New Yorkers concerned about their communities and how those communities would be represented.

Moreover, Chair Jenkins, and Commissioners Collado, Cuevas-Molina, Flateau, and Frazier, invited the public to submit any additional input on congressional districting while the Court of Appeals’ decision was pending.

Between October 2, 2023 and the issuance of the Court of Appeals’ decision on December 12, 2023, more than 2,700 written submissions were received.

We thank the members of the public for these additional comments.

As the process now turns to the IRC’s submission of proposed congressional districts to the Legislature, the submissions@nyirc.gov email address will no longer be actively monitored.

All submissions that were received on or before the Court of Appeals’ decision on December 12, 2023 have been made available to all Commissioners and staff.  Thank you.

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