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Letter: For Fair and Inclusive Redistricting

At the February 27, 2012 Nassau County Legislative meeting, the League of Women Voters and other good government groups will ask the Legislature to follow its own Nassau County Charter, Section 113 and appoint a Temporary Advisory Commission to execute fair and inclusive redistricting. The League has long believed that an independent, non-partisan commission should be convened. This commission must be transparent, geographically diverse and representative of the various populations of Nassau County.

We request that this commission:

• Hold public hearings prior to committee meetings and subsequent to same. These meetings will enable the commission to receive input from the public before the development of the plan as well as a public response to all proposals before presentation to the legislature.

• Hold hearings in each of the towns and two cities, at different times of the day and evening in order to enable as many members of the citizenry to participate as possible.

• Post notice for all meetings at least seven days in advance and extend these meetings geographically so that they are accessible to our diverse populations.

• Design voting districts so that they are contiguous, reasonably compact, and fairly representative of identifiable communities of interest. Wherever possible, a concerted effort should be made to keep cities, towns, villages, and unincorporated areas intact.

• Adhere to the Voting Rights Act and take into consideration Nassau County’s minority populations.

• Develop and maintain a website where hearing times, location and dates are clearly posted, all committee minutes are cited and recorded in a timely fashion, and all proposed district maps are published.

The League urges residents of Nassau County to write or call their legislators about the redistricting issue, which will affect voting in Nassau County for the next ten years.

Rachel Krinsky
President, LWV Nassau County