Thursday, October 13, 2011
Toby pretends district lines are not her fault
From the Times Ledger:
The Queens lawmaker who has one of the most clearly contorted boundary lines in the borough wants to take redistricting power out of the hands of politicians.
When state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) looks at her coverage area, she sees “a Rorschach test for troubled people.”
It is barely contiguous, which is required by the state. Between Clintonville and 148th streets in Whitestone, her district is actually just the Cross Island Parkway.
“If I walked the perimeter of my district, I would get hit by a car,” she said, standing on a crosswalk high above the thoroughfare.
And Stavisky knows who created that monster.
The corridor-like portion of the district was drawn in 1992, before Stavisky took the seat, she said, by the state Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment. The parkway serves as an umbilical cord connecting the Democratic neighborhoods of Beechhurst and Bay Terrace to the main hub of her Democratic district in Flushing.
By connecting the two neighborhoods to the 16th District, the committee took them out of the neighboring district, which was then held by former Sen. Frank Padavan.
Padavan was a Republican, and since the neighborhoods in question typically vote Democratic, they would have hurt his chances for re-election, according to Stavisky, which is why they were removed. But the Democrats benefitted as well, since the addition of the neighborhoods made the 16th District a deeper hue of blue.
“It was wrong in 1992, and it’s wrong now,” she said.
You were elected in 1999. What about the 2002 redistricting? Why didn't you do something about it then? Why didn't the newspaper point this out?