Dutchess County Democrats have called on Governor Cuomo to veto the proposed legislative district lines. The Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR) released draft lines yesterday afternoon, which dramatically change the makeup of Dutchess County’s representation.
“The specious argument as to why cities should be completely segregated from their surroundings and lumped together with other cities becomes sadly ludicrous when you look at these maps; there does not even seem to be a pretext of LATFOR believing in what they preach. To take the City of Poughkeepsie out of the integral towns that surround it, only to then put it on the other side of the Hudson River in a district with towns like Lloyd and Marlborough, is pathetic sophistry at best,” said Elisa Sumner, chairwoman of the Dutchess Democratic Committee.
“The city argument becomes even more laughable when you see that the Town and City of Poughkeepsie are separated. The Town of Poughkeepsie now skirts around the city and travels north where it is joined with the City of Hudson! When people choose to live in a community they never consider that for voting purposes they will be ‘gerrymandered’ away from their neighbors and lumped in with people miles away,” Sumner continued.
The proposed lines would draw the cities of Poughkeepsie and Beacon, and the towns of Red Hook and Rhinebeck, into Assembly districts that are predominantly across the river. The remaining Poughkeepsie suburbs and northern Dutchess towns would be stretched through Columbia County up to the Rensselaer border. The predominantly suburban Southeastern Dutchess would be an Assembly district unto itself though with rural Washington carved away from its neighboring towns to the north and added to the Southern district.
The Governor has previously pledged to veto lines that are drawn in a politically-motivated process.
“For the sake of the people of New York, and not its politicians, we call on the Governor to hold to his word and veto these blatantly gerrymandered lines,” said Sumner.