Tag Archives: William M. Skretny

The Legislature Redistricting

14 Aug

For those of you who may be interested, here is the court order and maps (including a separate, detailed map of Buffalo), relating to U.S. District Court Judge Skretny’s decision on Erie County Legislature redistricting:

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Barbara Miller-Williams Reacts to Judge Skretny’s County Redistricting Order

5 Aug

I have bolded the areas that I think are most interesting. While Miller-Williams repeats twice how she “welcomes” this order, and claims that it is similar to the Republican/Miller-Williams map (it isn’t, really), and notes that it does especial harm to her chances of being re-elected; when push comes to shove, she is not a “part of the Party system” as it’s constituted in Erie County.

But why is she discussing her re-election campaign in a press release sent from an erie.gov address in her capacity as Legislature Chair, as opposed to her campaign apparatus?

Statement by Barbara Miller-Williams, Chair Erie County Legislature
Regarding Redistricting of the Erie County Legislature

 

Yesterday, Judge William Skretny issued his Order that presents us with new lines for the 11 Districts of the Erie County Legislature.

I welcome the resolution to the matter and applaud the Judge on his attention to the important federal principles. Judge Skretny, in his decision, maintained 2 majority-minority districts for the Legislature, following the directives of the Federal Voting Rights Act. And although the new districts do not adhere as closely as proposed Local Law 3-1 did to the principal of one person-one vote, the deviation in size between districts still falls well within federal guidelines. With this map, Judge Skretny has followed those principles that I have championed throughout this process – the principles that assure each voter has an equal voice in their County government.

Currently I serve as the 3rd District Legislator. The new District I reside in will be District 1. I welcome the additional residents of District 1 and am looking forward to the opportunity to address their interests in County government. This new district preserves the heart of the neighborhoods I have come to know and champion in the City and adds many neighborhoods that I have become acquainted with in my time as Chair of the Legislature. I am excited to get to better know these new neighborhoods and listen to the needs of the residents as I take my re-election campaign to every corner of the new 1st District.

There is one issue that is of concern to me with regard to the Judge’s ruling in this case. Ballot access, the mechanism of our democracy that allows anyone with the will to challenge an incumbent, has been severely restricted in this process. By ordering that the Party leaders will designate those that will be listed on the ballot lines, ordinary citizens are not allowed to participate in that choice. And those that may seek the office of Legislator, if they are not a part of the Party system, are left without any real hope of a viable campaign. I understand the extreme time constraints this process has imposed upon us, but I want to make sure that a true spirit of democracy is not sacrificed in the name of expediency.

So I welcome the Order that Judge Skretny has presented us, and the resolution to the question of what the 11 Districts of the Erie County Legislature will look like beginning in 2012. I respect the process that the Judge has decreed, recognizing that it may be difficult for a challenger to step forward and run for a position on the Legislature.

I look forward to the opportunity to represent the residents of what will be the 1st Legislative District for Erie County in the upcoming election. And I thank all those who have been involved in this process to assure that every resident of Erie County is fairly represented for the next 10 years.