State Sens. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) and Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) said despite a report that new Senate lines would be drawn that would not put their homes in the same district, they had not been notified about any change.
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Gianaris said.
The proposed Senate districts, drawn by Senate Republicans and released earlier this year, moved the lines of Peralta’s district to encompass Gianaris’ house and remove the bottom of Peralta’s district for an Asian-majority district centered in Flushing.
The new proposed 12th District, which Gianaris currently represents, would encompass most of Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside, most of Woodside and parts of Maspeth, Ridgewood, Glendale, Woodhaven, Ozone Park and Lindenwood.
Meanwhile, the 13th District now represented by Peralta would still include East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Corona, some of Elmhurst and a part of Woodside, but would take in LaGuardia Airport, part of Flushing Meadows Corona Park and a section of Astoria where Gianaris lives.
An unconfirmed report said a revised plan would no longer put the Democratic heavyweights in one district, but both senators denied it.
“There’s no concrete new lines that have been put forward,” Peralta said.
Peralta is the Democratic whip and Gianaris is chairman of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. Both senators previously said they had no intentions of running against each other.
Gianaris said to him the issue was less about his house not being in the 12th District and more about how the new maps have split up communities of interest. He called the proposed maps the most gerrymandered maps in the state’s history.
“The Senate Republicans promised to do this fairly and independently, they’ve betrayed the people to whom they’ve made that promise,” he said.
Gianaris said he hopes Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoes the lines and has the courts draw fair districts.
Peralta said the redistricting process was going “slow like molasses” and accused the Republicans of trying to hold up the process until the last minute.
“This is something that we get elected to do, and we should have had a process in place so it could have been taken out of our hands and done independently,” Peralta said.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4564.
©2012 Community News Group
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