Common Cause NY Announces New Blog: “Mapping Democracy”

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Susan Lerner

July 18, 2011

212-691-6421 or 917-670-5670

Common Cause NY Announces New Blog: “Mapping Democracy”

Good Government Group Seeks to Provide Maps and Other Information to Inform New York State Redistricting

Today, Common Cause NY launched a new blog, Mapping Democracy, focused on redistricting in New York State. The blog can be found on-line here:

“In Mapping Democracy, we’ll discuss and provide illustrative maps on aspects of the current district lines and the demographic issues that should influence where the new district lines should be placed, “said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause NY. “We’ll do that for each locale in advance of each of the public hearings which LATFOR has scheduled around the state starting on Tuesday. Of course, we’ll also discuss political developments which may have an impact on the redistricting process or the new maps themselves, but our purpose in starting the blog is to help shift the focus from the political horse race to the important substantive issues which effect how communities will be reflected in the new districts.”

“Our maps will illustrate how communities have often been arbitrarily divided by the current, highly partisan districts. In order to maximize the effective representation and participation of communities in the political process, New York’s new district maps should look very different than the current set,” said Brian Paul, Research & Policy Coordinator at Common Cause NY.

By the end of the day today, Common Cause NY will post a discussion of issues specific to the Syracuse area. Tomorrow, the blog will contain maps and comments regarding issues specific to the Rochester area.

Common Cause is a leader in redistricting reform around the nation. Common Cause California wrote and helped to pass the Voters First Initiative in California in 2008 which set up the first Citizens’ Redistricting Commission in the U.S. which is currently in the process of drawing new political boundaries transparently and with public input. Common Cause Minnesota helped pass a referendum in Minneapolis that removes political parties from the redistricting process by having a judge appoint members of the redistricting commission. Common Cause strongly supported and helped pass the Fair Districts Florida initiatives in 2010 that set new rules for redrawing legislative and congressional lines which prohibit drawing districts to favor or disfavor an incumbent or political party.