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New York redistricting panel chair resigns ahead of deadline to present draft Assembly map

Redistricting Update WEB

The New York State Independent Redistricting Commission is getting a new member, as the panel nears a deadline to present new draft legislative maps for the state Assembly.

The commission’s chair, David Imamura, stepped down last week to run for Westchester County Legislature. His departure comes as the panel is heading for a Dec. 2 deadline to present a draft map for new state Assembly districts.

The deadline was set by a judge overseeing the redrawing of the maps, after an appellate court ruled the current lines were drawn unconstitutionally. Attorneys who originally brought the suit to overturn the lines have appealed the decision to let the IRC redraw the lines, instead proposing they be done by a court-appointed redistricting expert instead.

After the draft map is presented, the panel must hold several hearings to gather input around the state. From there, a final map must be presented to the state Legislature by April 28.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, a Democrat, quickly filled Imamura’s vacancy on the panel last week. She appointed Deputy Westchester County Executive Ken Jenkins to fill the role.

The new maps will go into effect for the 2024 election cycle.

Vaughn Golden has been reporting across New York since 2016. Working as a freelancer while studying journalism and economics at Ithaca College, Vaughn has reported for a number of outlets including the Albany Times Union, New York Post, and NPR among others. Prior to coming to WSKG full-time, Vaughn was a reporter for the Watertown Daily Times. Vaughn now covers government and politics for WSKG.