Groups Urge Legislature to Address Withheld Funding for Redistricting Commission


January 22nd, 2021

Dear Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins. Assembly Speaker Heastie, Senate Minority Leader Ortt, and Assembly Minority Leader Barclay,

We write to urge you to address the ongoing withholding of funding dedicated for New York’s first Independent Redistricting Commission by ordering the immediate release of $1 million in funding through SUNY Research foundation.

The $1 million in funding appropriated for this Commission has now been delayed for more than 9 months. Although a recent report stated that the funding was now set to be released, at their most recent meeting, the Co-Executive Directors of the Commission stated that SUNY Research Foundation has indicated these funds may be deferred for 3 more weeks. The Co-Executive Directors stated that the reason for this postponement was not shared by SUNY Research Foundation.

This continued delay in funding has limited the Commission’s ability to begin its critical work and stifled the ability for the public to provide input into this new process. Article III, Section 5-b, of the New York State Constitution states the following with regard to funding for the Commission:

“(i) The state budget shall include necessary appropriations for the expenses of the independent redistricting commission, provide for compensation and reimbursement of expenses for the members and staff of the commission….”

Our joint organizations believe that funding for the Commission must be allocated immediately in order to comply with this constitutional mandate.  A further delay in the release of these funds undermines the transparent and independent process voted for by millions of New Yorkers as a ballot initiative in 2014. We again urge you to resolve this issue so that funds can be released immediately.


Arturo Vargas
NALEO Educational Fund

Juan Cartagena
President and General Counsel
LatinoJustice PRLDEF

Eddie Cuesta
Executive Director
Dominicanos USA

Frankie Miranda
Hispanic Federation

Lurie Daniel-Favors, Esq.
Interim Executive Director
Center for Law and Social Justice, Medgar Evers College, CUNY

Carlyn Cowen
Chief Policy & Public Affairs Officer
CPC – Chinese-American Planning Council

Paul Westrick
Manager of Democracy Policy
The New York Immigration Coalition

Laura Ladd Bierman
Executive Director
League of Women Voters of New York State

Betsy Gotbaum
Executive Director
Citizens Union

John Kaehny
Executive Director
Reinvent Albany


C.C. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo


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