Gerrymandering is unfair across the board
Feb 21, 2012 | 1677 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor:

One of the cover stories of the February 16th issue about redistricting certainly brought up some good points of contention, but like all arguments there are more sides to the story.

Those claiming that gerrymandering lines dilute power, whether of particular communities or of racial groups, are not looking at the entire picture. Howard Beach is a predominantly white, mostly Italian-American community. It, too, was subject to politically drawn lines.

Howard Beach, separated from the rest of Queens, has definitive boundaries, either manmade or natural, but it is split between two Congressional and State Senate districts. Political sources have explained to me for years that this was done to weaken Republican power.

It is among the few areas where Republicans have opportunities to win, as was seen by the elections of Eric Ulrich and Bob Turner. To prevent that, Democrats drew lines dividing Howard Beach, and aligning it with adjacent areas, to keep their party in power.

I have no doubt that many of those opposing the current redistricting plan have legitimate claims. But they also need to know, and the media is obligated to report, that they are not the only citizens against whom attempts to weaken or disenfranchise voting blocs, ethnic groups or political parties by gerrymandering have been proposed.

Sincerely,

Edward Riecks

Howard Beach

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