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Prison gerrymandering gives extra political power to legislators who have prisons in their districts. We put numbers on the problem and sparked a movement to protect our democratic process from the overgrown prison system.

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New Yorkers Protest LATFOR’s Refusal to Comply with New York Law

by Leah Sakala, July 22, 2011

The New York Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR) has announced that it plans to ignore enacted New York legislation that mandates that incarcerated populations be counted at their home addresses for redistricting purposes. Unsurprisingly, many New Yorkers are unhappy about LATFOR’s refusal to comply with the law, which aims to secure equal representation throughout the state.

Mandle image

North Country Public Radio reported that Joan Mandle, Executive Director of Democracy Matters and Member of Citizen Action New York, testified at a recent public hearing. In her testimony she cautioned, “If we fail to enforce the law and fully implement the legislatures courageous decision, I am concerned that our state will be a laughing stock.”

YNN also covered the hearing and released a video that included a clip of Ms. Mandle’s testimony. She warned LATFOR of the consequences of disregarding the law: “Unless we count incarcerated persons in their home communities, we deny our own citizens fair and equal representation.”

Ms. Mandle shared with us her full written testimony.

2 Responses

  1. LATFOR announces that it will comply with New York’s law that forbids prison-based gerrymandering | Prisoners of the Census says, 1 week, 6 days after publication:

    […] announcement was made on the heels of an outpouring of media coverage , testimony, and letters from legislators, civil rights advocates, and New York citizens who are all working to […]

  2. ADVISORY: Tomorrow (10/4) Civil Rights Groups to Defend Law Ending Prison-Based Gerrymandering in NY Supreme Court Hearing | Prisoners of the Census says, 2 months, 1 week after publication:

    […] pledge to follow the law came after a flurry of public criticism prompted by the seven civil rights organizations representing the intervenors. On July 27, the […]

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