US Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, has rejected the New York’s new congressional maps.
Expressing her reaction to the new maps, Gillibrand also faulted the appointment of the special master appointed to draw the new congressional and state legislative districts, as well as the judge who appointed him.
“This looks like it’s been gerrymandered to make sure Black people are not represented. It is an outrage,” Gillibrand said.
She added, “I would really look to see what is the agenda of this special master. What is the agenda of the judge that appointed this special master?”
“I think these lines are fraudulent,” the senator added, saying she hopes the proposed district lines will be appealed in some form.
Gillibrand echoed the criticisms of House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries and other Black lawmakers that the special master’s maps divvy up Black communities.
She said she spoke with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, whose Bronx district is 65% Black and would now be represented by three members of Congress.
“It’s as if this was drawn by the Republican Party to do the Republican Party’s goals,” Gillibrand said.
“People who have been systemically disadvantaged – Black people, people of color, low-income communities – are being disadvantaged by how these lines have been drawn. And it is going to result in underrepresentation of these groups.”
The special master, Gillibrand says, ignored New York’s requirements to take into consideration communities comprised of historically disadvantaged groups. Supreme Court decisions weakening the federal Voting Rights Act is also playing a role, the senator said.