I write to express my deep disappointment at the chief executive’s vetoing an equitable law on redistricting Suffolk County, voted on by county legislators on December 31 of last year. While, admittedly, the voting did not include a single Republican, it reflected the change in the 2020 census, especially regarding the marked increase in the number of people of color in our county.
Steve Bellone’s support would have indicated that the chief executive is on the side of Suffolk County’s increasing minority population, which comprises one-third of the county’s population, and is increasing.
It’s a shame!
Now we are in a bottleneck. The chief executive and the new legislative leader, Kevin McCaffrey, want to create a new bipartisan committee to start the redistricting process all over again. According to the county executive, he and the Republican leader agreed that the new map would keep the four districts where minorities are in a statistical majority. Previously, there were two.
However, they need all the Republicans and at least one Democrat to pass the resolution to create the map. They are not getting the votes.
Does this remind you of Washington, D.C.?
I appeal to the 18 Suffolk County legislators: Do not imitate Washington, do not engage in trickle-down politics.
In view of the fact that the legislators couldn’t vote on the plan, then the legislature needs to bear some responsibility for not forming a bipartisan committee to draw the map back when the census with the new numbers was completed. The Republicans, at that time, did not want to cooperate, presumably because they were not in the majority. But the map backed by the Democrats merits at least being a true reflection of the 2020 census.
By supporting the Democrats’ map, Steve Bellone would have stood in solidarity with the minority people, many of whom (such as myself) voted for him.
I am immensely disappointed.
Shivaji Sengupta, Ph.D.
One fine body…