July 27, 2021
From Steuben County Democrat Chairman Shawn Hogan: “It’s supposed to be an independent commission, making recommendations on reapportionment. The state legislature has the right of refusal, and if they (the legislature) refuse the independent commission’s reapportionment plan, then they (the legislature) have a certain amount of time to produce their own. I don’t know what’s going to happen, I think, that redistricting, if it has to happen, should be apolitical, it shouldn’t benefit one party over another, but being a realist, I really don’t see the 23rd congressional district surviving in it’s current form. I believe that our district will be reassembled, either in a north/south direction, which probably makes more sense: a pillar approach, Western New York, the Finger Lakes Region, Central New York and I more or less, see it being reapportioned that way.
From Joe Sempolinski, Steuben County Republican Chair and Candidate For Congress:
“The people of this region have always had one of our own as a member of Congress,” Sempolinski said. “We are now in danger of having our voice taken away. That cannot be allowed to happen. The needs of the rural areas of the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes and Western New York are not the same as the needs of more densely populated areas. We deserve our own voice.”
The Independent Redistricting Commission is tasked with presenting maps for new Congressional, State Senate and State Assembly districts to the State Legislature for approval. The commission is currently holding virtual hearings to take input on what those maps should look like. Within the current 23rd Congressional District, the counties of Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tompkins and Tioga are in the state’s “Southern Tier” region. The virtual hearing for this region takes place at 2pm on August 9th. Ontario, Seneca and Yates Counties are in the state’s “Finger Lakes” region. Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua Counties are in the state’s “Western New York” region. The virtual hearing for these two regions takes place together at 2pm on August 12th. One can sign up to participate in these hearings or submit written testimony at https://nyirc.gov.
“It is likely that the Democrat majorities in the legislature will try to manipulate redistricting for nefarious political purposes.” Sempolinski added. “The more participation there is in the commission process from the outset, the harder it will be for Albany insiders to be successful in their schemes. Please sign up to submit testimony to help preserve a rural voice for this region.”