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Redistricting commission names co-executive directors; choice of chairperson remains elusive

Nov 16, 2020 1:45 pm
Chris Bragg is reporting for the Times Union a bipartisan state commission, charged with reconfiguring New York’s legislative and congressional districts, named its co-executive directors at a meeting November 12. But the 10 commissioners remain deadlocked on the choice of a chairperson. The redistricting commission has four Democratic appointees and four Republicans. The Republicans pick for a co-executive director is Douglas Breakell, former chief of staff to retiring GOP state Sen. George Amedore. The Democrats' pick is Karen Blatt, who served as the co-executive director of LATFOR, the legislative commission that provides demographic and statistical data to the Legislature during redistricting. The executive directors are each paid $145,000  annually. It is unclear who will be named chairperson. At the meeting last week, two attorneys from New York City-based law firms were nominated, but neither had a majority of the 10 votes. The chair's function is primarily to organize the panel. State Senate Democrats, who are now set to hold the majority during redistricting for the first time in decades, are planning to put a constitutional amendment before voters in November 2021 to substantially change the process. They argue that the 2014 constitutional amendment that established the existing process contained several provisions giving unfair advantages to then-majority Senate Republicans. Read the full story in the Times Union.