The Rockland County Legislature’s new redistricting plan has again withstood court challenges and remains scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
All 17 County Legislature seats are up on Nov. 7 of this year, with candidates now running to represent districts that will be reflected by the new boundaries.
The New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division on Tuesday rejected an appeal to void the maps. The ruling upheld a New York State Supreme Court decision issued in March that also dismissed challenges to the new maps. The appeal was filed in response to the March ruling.
Rockland County Legislature Chairman Jay Hood Jr. thanked the court for its work and said while he was pleased with the latest ruling, he wasn’t surprised.
“I was confident that the Rockland County Legislature met all of the requirements in drafting the new maps and in listening to the people,” Chairman Hood said. “The end product was the result of a bipartisan and thorough effort that was supported by the County Legislature and the County Executive.”
The redistricting plan created new county legislative districts in response to the results of the 2020 Census, with the new districts each containing roughly the same number of people. Prior to adoption of the new district boundaries, the largest district contained 24,089 people while the smallest contained 17,324. Each of Rockland’s 17 county Legislative Districts now contain about 19,918 people.
County Legislators Alden H. Wolfe and Michael Grant co-chaired the Special Committee to Redistrict the Legislature in Accordance with the 2020 Census. Members included County Legislators Harriet D. Cornell, Toney L. Earl, Lon M. Hofstein, Douglas J. Jobson, John W. McGowan, Aney Paul, Philip Soskin, Vincent D. Tyer and Itamar J. Yeger.
The redistricting process included the hiring of a consultant to help create the new boundaries, a different consultant to advise the minority members of the County Legislature, a series of five public community forums in each of Rockland’s towns, five additional redistricting committee meetings, two public hearings, news releases, social media postings, livestreaming of meetings and forums, posting of the livestream videos publicly, news media coverage, and other efforts.
Among the goals accomplished by the new plan:
Narrow Population Deviation: Considered the highest ranked standard when conducting redistricting. Rockland’s new plan ranges from -0.94 percent below the ideal target of 19,918 per district to just +1.24 percent above the target. New York State law allows a much larger deviation of up to 5 percent.
Hispanic Minority District: Retains the existing Hispanic Minority District based in Haverstraw with 61 percent Hispanic Voting Age Population in District 3.
Minority Population In Spring Valley: Rebalances the minority population in Spring Valley to create two solidly minority districts. These districts provide opportunities for each of the county’s largest minority groups to effectively elect a candidate of their choosing.
- District 8 with 42 percent non-Hispanic Black Voting Age Population and 32 percent Hispanic Voting Age Population.
- District 14 with a Hispanic population plurality – 36 percent Hispanic Voting Age Population and 25 percent non-Hispanic Voting Age Population.
Communities Of Interest: Numerous communities of interest were identified by the public in comments to the Redistricting Committee, including the request that the people within the Suffern School District are a community of interest that needs a legislative district fully within the school district. This was done with the realignment of the District 12 boundary.
Learn more about redistricting and find your Legislative District map by visiting here: https://rocklandgov.com/departments/county-legislature/legislative-district-maps/
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