Sunday May 15th, from 12:00pm - 4:00pm, Warburton Avenue will be closed to cars and open to "Spring Thing." The theme this year is "Get your Green On!" and the street will be filled with music, activities for kids, tips on how to green your home and garden, and information on local environmental initiatives—from reducing our carbon footprint to forging pathways for pollinators.
The Hastings Democratic Committee will have a table, so come on down, share your views, ask us questions, and just spend some time with us. We'll have petitions to sign for a ballot referendum to move the village elections from March to November, free copies of the Constitution (for the first 50 visitors), and a host of primary season candidates and local representatives from State, County and Town offices. Come meet State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, State Assemblyman Tom Abinanti, Acting State Supreme Court Justice Hon. Nikki Hummel, County Legislator MaryJane Shimsky, Greenburgh Town Justice Erin McGoey, Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins, Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner, Greenburgh Town Councilwoman Ellen Hendrickx, and more.
Several of you have written to ask what the heck is going on with the redistricting process and what it means for Democrats running in primary races. Even for seasoned followers of New York politics, the twists and turns of the redistricting process this year have been mystifying.
Every ten years, following the national census, states must redraw the political lines that determine representative districts in accordance with their population shifts. There is no singular method for this process. Currently, 33 states assign the task of redistricting to legislatures, while 17 states give some responsibility to redistricting commissions.
In 2014, New York voters passed a State constitutional amendment to create an Independent Redistricting Commission. The impetus for the creation of this IRC was to extricate the redrawing of district lines from the NY Assembly. Sadly, the process ran into significant bumps along the way. To quote David Imamura, Democratic Chair of the 2022 Independent Redistricting Committee:
"It is safe to say that the new process failed spectacularly. The commission was unable to agree on district lines. The state Legislature then took over the process, but the lines they drew were overturned by the courts. Now a judicial special master will draw New York’s district lines."
You can read more about the IRC's process in this City & State New York opinion. However, the immediate upshot is that the primaries have now been split into two different dates.
Wait, say that again—two primaries?
Yes, two primaries.
With the court upholding the Assembly lines in the redistricting challenge, it now looks like the primaries for NY Governor, NY Lt. Governor, and NY State Assembly will go forward as planned on June 28. But, because the proposed maps for the US Congress and NY State Senate are currently being redrawn, those primaries will be postponed to August 23. As we near these election days, we will keep you informed with information on early voting, requesting absentee ballots, and reminders of deadlines.
Finally, mark your calendars! After a two-year hiatus, the Hastings Democratic Committee has set the date for a little (but essential!) fundraising shindig on June 11th 4:00pm -6:00pm (rain date on June 12th). Come enjoy live music, snacks, and some time to catch up with fellow Democrats—all in the comfort of a Hastings garden.
More information on our event to come. In the meantime, we hope to see you at Spring Thing!
Chair, Hastings Democratic Committee