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Dec 06 2011

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Congressional Candidate Endorses NAACP Redistricting Proposal

Say it ain't so, Mike.

Mike Scala is running for Congress in NY-6, and he wants the new district lines drawn to be reflective of ethnic populations.

In his press release Scala quotes, “In order to maintain the district’s black majority, the new map would extend the eastern border into western Nassau County… Let me stop you right there Mike. Queens-Politics does not support a redistricting system based on ethnic division. The NAACP and many other other advocacy organizations like the Asian American Legal Defense continually push for district lines to be drawn to maximize the electability of a candidate from a select ethnic background, but this is an inherently problematic endeavor.

While it’s critically important to have a parity in Congressional politics, changing the lines to be reflective of anything other than geography is not the right thing to do because it dilutes the electoral process.

While the process is far from perfect, the idea of drawing lines to be inclusive of some and exclusive to others is not democracy. It’s calling our voters vacuous and presuming that the issues don’t matter and they will vote based solely on skin color or religion, which is the dumbest thing I have ever heard considering the electoral results of the past four years.

The press release goes on: “The northern and western boundaries of the district would also be modified.  NAACP State President Hazel Dukes stated that the proposal would help “preserve New York’s black congressional districts and black New Yorkers’ voting rights.”

So you want to gerrymander the district, again? It’s still gerrymandering even if a renowned advocacy organization introduces the proposal.

In a perfect world, the best candidate should win on the issues not because of their sexual identification, religion, or ethnicity. 

In Reynolds V. Sims Chief Justice Earl Warren said, “Legislators represent people, not trees or acres. Legislators are elected by voters, not farms or cities or economic interests.” This means it’s one person, one vote.

When a lack of quality candidates exists are the district lines to be blamed?

The NAACP’s redistricting plan attempts to establish a political advantage for their group. This is an admirable cause,  but their plan will inevitably protect incumbents and will eliminate the chance for competition, or at  the very least it will stifle the competition based on factors other than policy positions.

Are the districts gerrymandered as is? Probably, but how will another gerrymandered district fix anything?

Geography is the key to fair redistricting, so is competition.

Advocating the development of a potential tyranny of the majority in every district is not in the voters best interest. It bears a striking resemblance to racial steering whereby real estate agents define neighborhood boundaries and limit housing opportunities for select ethnic groups.

This is an illegal and unethical methodology, but it’s still common practice. Does that mean it should continue?

If defining an area by excluding one group over the other in real estate practice is illegal, why on Earth would we condone the practice in the polis?

That’s politics for you.

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Permanent link to this article: http://queens-politics.com/2011/12/congressional-candidate-endorses-naacp-redistricting-proposal/


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