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by Jay Gallagher

Friday, February 5, 2010

Redistricting forum set for Tues

The League of Women Voters of New York State Educational Foundation and the Rockefeller Institute of Government are sponsoring a forum next Tuesday on redrawing legislative districts following this year's census.
Reapportionment is always a contentious issue in Albany, with reform groups traditionally critical of lawmakers' gerrymandering of district lines for partisan advantage.
The topic is especially critical this year, since control of the state Senate (and therefore which party sets district lines) will be decided in the November elections.
Four lawmakers will speak at the event: state Sen. Martin Malave Dilan, D-Brooklyn; Sen. Andrew J. Lanza, R-Staten Island; Assemblyman Daniel J. Burling, R-Wyoming County; and Assemblyman William L. Parment, D-Jamestown.
Gerald Benjamin, associate vice president for regional engagement, SUNY New Paltz and Blair Horner, legislative director of New York Public Interest Research Group, will also speak at the forum, which is slated to run from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Rockefeller Institute, 411 State St., Albany.
I spoke to Blair today, and he promised to have his famous power point presentation showing gerrymandered districts resembling Abraham Lincoln riding a vacuum cleaner, a claw and other interesting shapes.
The forum will be moderated by Susan Arbetter, Capitol reporter and public affairs director for WCNY. Afterwards, there will be a reception in honor of the league's 90th anniversary.
To RSVP, contact Michele Charbonneau of the Institute, 518-443-5258, or

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