New York’s Redistricting Hearings are coming up: Here is what you need to know

Last year, presented unprecedented challenges in getting New Yorkers -and the rest of the United States- counted in the U.S. Census. With the Trump Administration ending the Census count ahead of schedule, we were scrambling to make sure that we have an accurate count. The census is conducted every ten years and is meant to keep track of population in the United States in addition to the breakdown of every unique group that makes this country diverse.

In April of 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau released the results of the survey and for this context, New York State lost a Congressional seat by 89 people who did not fill out the Census. You can view the full trends of population/demographic shift here. As of the 2020 Census, we have a total of 334,735,155 people who live in the United States, and is inclusive of Puerto Rico. In New York State, we have 20,201,249 residents who call the Empire State their home.

Sikh Americans in the United States had the option of writing in Sikh as a separate ethnicity next to Asian. From India Abroad:

Traditionally, Sikhs have been classified as Asian Indians, but in the 2020 Census questionnaire, a Sikh can self-identify and check the box under the category of Asian and also as Sikh.

The announcement was first made last month by the advocacy group United Sikhs, quoting U.S. Census deputy director Ron Jarmin as telling the group after a meeting with them in at San Diego State University on Jan. 6, that the community would be counted as a separate ethnic group if they self-identify themselves as Sikhs in the census form.

By: Suman Guha Mozumder

New York State has gotten off to bit of a rocky start when it comes to bringing together hearings on the new makeup of maps and the drawing of legislative districts. According to FiveThirtyEight.com:

Meanwhile, the dominant party in New York is taking a different approach than those in Illinois or Oklahoma, as Democrats there are trying to change the actual rules around redistricting to their benefit. Presently, an independent commission controls the redistricting process in New York, and a two-thirds majority is required in the legislature to pass new maps or slightly alter them when the same party controls both houses in the legislature, as Democrats do, which was expected to encourage bipartisan cooperation. But if voters back a constitutional amendment this November that the state legislature has worked to put on the ballot, the support needed to pass a commision plan would be lowered to a simple majority, or 60 percent if the legislature rejects the commission’s maps. That in turn would make it easier for Democrats, who hold a two-thirds majority in both chambers, to control the redistricting process. It would also move up the date for the commission to file its final plans from Jan. 15 to Jan. 1, although the commission would still have to submit its initial drafts in mid-September or as soon as possible after that time.

Reported by: Geoffrey Skelly

Today, the League of Women Voters of New York State tweeted out the website where New Yorkers can find a schedule of hearings taking place across the state, submit testimony, maps and comments to influence how legislative districts will be formed.

Make sure to have your voice heard and your testimony understood. Change happens beyond elections and this is one moment where we can really make a difference.

Published by Navjot Pal Kaur

Kaur Republic is a blog dedicated to the empowerment and uplifting of Kaur voices and perspectives. We aim to bring you coverage from the American political spectrum on Sikh involvement in American politics and how the politics of it all leads to the policy of it all.

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