If New York State has gotten to the point where our legislators have to tout passing an on-time budget as an achievement, something is seriously wrong. Our state government has been deemed the most dysfunctional state legislature in the nation, and with good reason. There are quite a few facts to back that up.
Most recently, Ossining was placed in a gerrymandered election district for the benefit of a legislator’s re-election, not the representation of the people. Rockland County, which was entirely in a senate district for two decades, now is split in two. One of the halves now includes Ossining. The partisan behavior exhibited by both the State Assembly and State Senate reeks of business as usual Albany politics.
We, as elected officials, citizens, and community activists, were astonished by this ultra-political move seen around New York State. We wrote our representatives, called them, sent letters to the editor, both Village and Town boards unanimously passed resolutions condemning the redistricting, the Town of Ramapo filed a lawsuit because of the Assembly lines, and finally, nearly 2,000 people signed a petition asking for it to be changed. What happened? Did Albany listen? Nope.
Our Assemblywoman Sandy Galef voted against redistricting. I applaud her for doing so; credit is due where credit is due. Good job Ms. Galef. However, our Senator to be, David Carlucci, voted in support of splitting Rockland County in half, and sending Ossining to a Rockland County Senate district. I had the pleasure of meeting our new Senator. I respect him and his service to the State of New York, but this vote was not a good first impression to Ossining’s hardworking residents and taxpayers.
Even with a petition with 2,000 signatures, press statements from many elected officials, and the scores of letters and calls to legislators, the people’s concerns were not only not addressed, but simply ignored. Shame on Albany for this move. Hopefully the people will not forget this in November. They may be able to redistrict our community, but they can never redistrict our votes.