“Boy, dem republicans vote pun the dam ting”, said one Elmont resident as word spread yesterday that the Republican led Nassau County Legislature voted to accept the “amended” redistricting lines. Intuitively, residents knew the vote would be taken in spite of the judge’s injunction. The vote was signaled when Ed Mangano, County Executive, and Nassau Republicans orchestrated an unnecessary but widely publicized “rally for Nassau Coliseum Redevelopment” at the County Legislative Building yesterday. It was clear that the rally was a distraction and, as one Nassau resident reported “the rally crowded out many who took the day off; shopped for baby sitters; and otherwise made herculean efforts to be present and heard on the matter of redistricting.” What a shame, a manufactured crisis as a distraction from the important act of diluting the strength of minority voting, deepening segregation on an already profoundly segregated Long Island and solidifying an inappropriate false political choice for Nassau County residents.
After the vote about 44 percent of Nassau’s residents were shuffled like a deck of cheap cards at a smoke filled speak-easy bar. The 3rd LD, presently represented by Legislator Ciotti, is completely redesigned. The argument proffered to justify the redesign by republican and those close to the process is that it allows for the creation a new “minority” 19th LD along the Western border of Nassau County. But wait …!
Elmont Online published the documents used by the Republican Legislature to craft the redistricting plan and here is what those documents reveal about the 3rd LD.
In addition to what the numbers suggest in the 3rd LD, the new “minority” 19th LD stretches south from Bellerose Terrace to Inwood artificially slicing through several communities including Elmont. It is not clear why this is construed as a minority district when the minority population accounts for just 50.2 percent of the total and is stretched narrowly and linearly from tip to tip. This is laughable on its face because the present 3rd LD is a legitimately and organically grown minority district. The republicans records quantify this representation. Clearly, Mr. Ciotti’s silence on the artificially carved out 68% (voting aged) white enclave speaks volumes.
One county legislator said the new 19th LD “cuts The Five Towns area into Two and a Half Towns” and an angry Elmont Community Leader added “and now, Elmont is sliced up like pizza”.
The courts will undoubtedly have to weigh in on this final solution. Law suits have been filed and there is an injunction against implementing the plan. Joyce Stowe, president of the Tudor Manor Civic Association in Elmont hand delivered signatures in strong opposition to the “lines of separation” drawn through her civic to the Majority and Minority Leaders of the County Legislature yesterday and is continuing to collect signatures in the Tudor Manor Civic Area. This kind of grassroots action may be well be trampled on by the republican led majority but, in so doing they lose credibility in every way possible.
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