Meeting over redistricting in Suffolk canceled as majority of Republicans disapprove
A battle is brewing over redrawing Suffolk County's legislative districts.
A special meeting was slated for Wednesday on the blueprints, but it was canceled.
Residents who showed up say they wanted to express their opinion about the redistricting plan that would redraw district lines with the aim of giving fairer representation to minority communities.
The canceled special meeting comes just days after a rally urging County Executive Steve Bellone to sign a Democratic plan to redraw the districts.
Suffolk County Legislature's Presiding Officer Kevin McCaffrey says the meeting was canceled because Republicans couldn't get a majority vote to support it.
The Democrats approved a plan in 2021 that would have doubled the number of districts in which Black and Hispanic residents make up the majority.
Before the plan could go into effect, Republicans gained control of the Legislature.
They say under the county charter, an eight-member bipartisan commission needs to be selected and has the responsibility of drawing the new lines.
"Before they even work on the maps and have talks about what the maps may look like, get input from every community in Suffolk County and then, only then, can I start to work on those maps," McCaffrey says.
Voting rights advocates and some residents say they feel like legislators are playing politics when it comes to giving minorities in Suffolk fairer representation.
"We should be considered at all times so the time is now that elected officials alike who say that you are serving your community, it's time that we have our seat at the table," says Wyandanch resident Jarod Morris.
Other residents are concerned they will move the lines and lose representatives who they voted for.