Corruption and gerrymandering have been destructive to New York’s political system

New York’s politicians have been allowed to get away with too much in Albany. Our lawmakers are considered part-time employees–which gives them the right to earn outside income without a limit. That means they can take money or salaries from companies that expect them to pass or block legislation or provide other favors in return. And with Republican-controlled gerrymandering slashing our state into incoherent districts, our blue-leaning population is governed by red-leaning legislators.

When a legislator is forced to resign after being convicted of a corruption crime, New York taxpayers pay their pensions

We can get money out of our legislative process if we:

  • Extend the yearly legislative session to require  a full-time commitment from our representatives–therefore justifying a full-time salary and eliminating representatives’ need to receive outside income
  • Institute a statewide public financing system based on the one used by NYC, which matches every dollar in small donor contributions with six dollars in public funds
  • Stop putting taxpayer funds toward the pensions of ex-lawmakers convicted of corruption crimes
  • Outlaw campaign contributions from any corporation that does business within the state

We can eliminate gerrymandering in New York

What even is gerrymandering, anyway?

Gerrymandering is when a partisan committee moves around the borders of voting districts to favor their own party, squeezing the maximum amount of electoral votes possible out of a certain area of land.

Our Civil Rights Act bans specifically “racial” gerrymandering, but does not protect us from partisan gerrymandering. With a large portion of minority voters identifying as democratic, republican-influenced partisan gerrymandering is a roundabout way of silencing marginalized voters.

Demand that all redistricting be done solely by independent commissions. Ban redistricting that seeks to unfairly increase the power of one political party while limiting others.

Today, we have an overwhelmingly liberal and democratic state governed by a Senate that is split down the middle: half democratic, half republican. And some of our elected “democratic” lawmakers, otherwise known as the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), repeatedly caucus with republicans in exchange for leadership roles (which gets them a bigger paychecks, staff, and offices) and more funding for their districts.

Without a law mandating an independent redistricting commission, our governor gets the final say on any question of redistricting.  

Many of our legislators benefit from gerrymandering. Therefore, the system will never change unless we demand it does.