ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- New York’s Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) has faced an uphill challenge since 2020. They went months without funding and continued to experience delays throughout 2021.
After a tumultuous year and a half, five commissioners said they have submitted the IRC’s plan to legislature they said Monday, albeit they said without the other commissioners. Commissioners Ross Brady, John Conway, Jack Martins, Charles Nesbitt, and Willis Stephen said half of its members “walked away” from the process after agreeing to use maps submitted in September as a baseline.
“They advised the Commission that they would no longer participate in any further discussions regarding the maps that had been substantially completed, presented a unilaterally prepared, partisan map in its stead, and further advised that they would only negotiate on their newly presented partisan maps,” IRC members said in a statement.
Commissioners Eugene Benger, Dr. Ivelisse Cuevas-Molina, Dr. John Flateau, Elaine Frazier, and David Imamura released their own statement Monday afternoon saying that they had hoped to be able to send one set of plans to the legislature but the commission could not come to a consensus.
“We made enormous progress in finding common ground among the Commission, but there remained significant differences on important points. Namely, we saw our colleagues’ indifference to public input at every step of the process, and especially in our final round of bipartisan negotiations. In our instances of disagreement, we relied on public input to guide our decision-making, while it is clear our colleagues did not,” they said in their statement.
Commissioners Benger, Cuevas-Molina, Flateau, Frazier, and Imamura have submitted their own redistricting map plan to the legislature. It’s now up to the legislature to decide which map to adopt or to reject both map plans.
Statements released by both groups of commissioners are below: