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Rockland Legislature OKs Redistricting Map Amid Criticism

New boundaries for the Rockland County Legislature’s 17 districts were passed Wednesday following a public hearing that brought criticism and accusations of favoritism.

Legislators voted 14-3 to adopt a map that outlines the new districts, with Legislators Connie Coker, D-South Nyack, Robert Jackson, D-Nanuet, and Joseph Meyers, D-Airmont, voting against the action.

The measure now goes to County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef for his approval or veto.

Opponents accused legislators of gerrymandering to favor Hasidic and Orthodox neighborhoods at the expense of other communities, of ignoring Nanuet and Chestnut Ridge, and of incorrectly interpreting the federal Voting Rights Act regarding changes in Spring Valley and Hillcrest.

Ruth Ivey of Spring Valley criticized legislators for favoring “the bloc vote,” a reference to the Jewish communities of New Square and Kaser, both kept intact in the new plan.

“I’m here tonight to chastise this special committee for their unforgiveable commitment to keeping gerrymandering alive and well for the next 10 years in Rockland County,” Ivey said. “Shame on you. The bloc vote remains the controlling factor in Rockland County, and for all other voters in Rockland, their vote does not really count.”

Legislators Gerold Bierker, R-Bardonia, and Phil Soskin, D-Monsey, both said those who didn’t like the bloc voting needed to make sure they themselves voted, along with their own supporters.

Soskin asked about who qualified as a “power bloc,” saying that everyone who spoke on behalf of a community Wednesday was essentially behaving as a power bloc — seeking something special for their community of interest.

“Be tolerant,” Soskin said. “Try to work together, be you Hasidic, be you Spanish, be you a person of color.”


One Response

  1. Its funny how all the preserve ramapo people dont complain about the thousands of illegal aliens who have flooded spring valley over the past 15 years, and are on medicaid/wic etc. Seig Heil!

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