League of Women Voters | Rochester Metropolitan Area, Rochester, NY

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The Proposed County Leg Maps are Available and the Public can Comment Until Dec. 9

Local Redistricting: The Proposed Districts are Available
The Monroe County Legislature proposed revised districts for the County Legislature that reflect the new census data. These new districts will last for ten years, until the next census.

The Public Hearing is Dec. 9
The Leg is required to hold a hearing.  It’s been scheduled for Dec. 9 at 5pm.  The Leg itself will convene via zoom.  The public can watch via streaming on YouTube.  People can make their opinions known in two different ways, by emailing them in advance, or by phoning in to a number that will somehow be connected to the zoom call.  Your face won’t be visible but your voice can be heard.

They don’t care, but let’s tell them anyway

  1. The District Revision Commission held hearings in October and dozens of people submitted comments, including requests for specific changes to the current boundaries.
  2. The Commission never discussed the public feedback and the proposed maps did not respond to any of the requests.
  3. The new maps continue to unnecessarily fracture communities of interest, chopping up villages and neighborhood associations.
  4. They will only respond if we give them a reason to.  When politicians ignore public demands, the public needs to speak more forcefully.  We can make democracy work in Monroe County.

The outcome could still change. 

  1. The Legislature is planning to vote on the proposed districts on Dec. 9, immediately after the public hearing, but they don’t have to.  They have three months to act on the proposal.  Let them know they should take time to revise the maps in light of public feedback.
  2. The County Executive could veto the maps.  This Legislature might not be able to override his veto.  A new legislature will be seated on January 1.  They might think it’s important to respond to public feedback and that the maps can be improved by uniting villages and neighborhoods.
  3. The public can overturn the districts via a referendum.  If the public doesn’t like the maps, someone can organize a “permissive referendum”.  A lot of signatures would be needed in a short time to force it, but it could be brought to voters for approval.
  4. The process until now has been chaotic, hidden from public view, and could be subject to legal challenge.

How to Provide Feedback

  1. On our county redistricting page, you can look at the maps and find yours.
  2. Your comments can be specifically about your district.  Maybe you want your village not to be split.  Maybe you want your neighborhood association not to be split.  Maybe you don’t like having your town fractured so that it’s spread over several districts.  Maybe you don’t like having your legislator represent several towns.  Write a simple email saying what you think. Even if your own district isn’t plagued by those problems, you can ask them to fix them overall.  And everyone can tell their legislator that they should take the time to evaluate the public input that was received and respond to it by making revisions.
  3. Send the email to the Clerk of the Legislature so it can be read at the hearings.  But also send it to your own legislator.  If you think they should take the time to listen to the public feedback they are required to collect, rather than take a vote five minutes later without taking time to consider it, let them know.  They might respond if their constituents speak up.

Barbara Grosh
President, LWV-RMA

Our online voter guide is now live. Check it to find out who will be on your ballot. Many candidates have not yet responded to our questions. If you know a candidate who hasn't, remind them!

Note especially the 5 constitutional amendments which will be on the back of our ballots.

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