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Allegany County implores NY State: Preserve existing Congressional districts

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From Andrew Harris, 11/11/21

The Allegany County Legislature have sent a strong message to Independent Redistricting Commission and all relevant state and federal leaders: Don’t change our Congressional District.

Looking at the proposed new district, Allegany County will become part of the Buffalo Niagara region. That doesn’t sit well with the legislature because that urban region is not aligned with our, “priorities, interests, or way of life.”

The resolution from the county :

Offered by: Ways & Means Committee Pursuant to Section 153 of the County Law.

WHEREAS, Allegany County hereby rejects the proposed map which creates a north/south district and includes the Counties of Niagara, Orleans, Erie, Wyoming and Genesee, and

WHEREAS, Allegany County vigorously supports the version of the proposed map that maintains the historical and traditional Southern Tier Congressional District for the following reasons:

  • Allegany County rejects the Independent Redistricting Commission’s map that puts the Southern Tier counties with the Buffalo and Niagara Falls region. The Southern Tier communities have nothing in common with these large urban and suburban areas and will be overpowered by them.
  • The residents of the Southern Tier need a strong voice in Washington, D.C. We have distinct needs that cannot be watered down or ignored by having our communities merged into areas dominated by Buffalo and Niagara Falls that do not share our priorities, interests, or way of life.
  • Traditionally, the differences between the Southern Tier and Western and Central New York have been mirrored in the Congressional and State Legislative district boundaries. This distinction ensured that the government in Washington and Albany paid attention to the Southern Tier region and was focused on the area’s unique needs.
  • The only way the Southern Tier counties will be treated equally and fairly, and receive the attention and resources they need, is to keep the historical and traditional Southern Tier Congressional district that runs along 1-86 from Chautauqua through Tioga counties together.
  • The Southern Tier’s counties all are rural and are communities of interest. Their economy, health systems, education, infrastructure, and culture all are homogenous. They all receive recognition from the federal government as needing unique assistance through the Appalachian Regional Commission. Agriculture and related industries such as food manufacturing and processing are the main economic drivers, in addition to some larger manufacturers. Moreover, the area is heavily reliant on small businesses. All of these characteristics would be overpowered by being in a district in the Buffalo and Niagara regions.
  • Access to quality health care is a huge concern. Rural areas need more primary care physicians, and rural hospitals and emergency rooms need to be kept open.
  • Infrastructure funding for roads, bridges, sewer, water and broadband are needed and cannot be siphoned off by larger, more powerful urban and suburban areas.
  • The Commission needs to maintain the integrity of the current Congressional district by keeping the Southern Tier counties together along the 1-86 corridor, and

WHEREAS, the Independent Redistricting Commission of New York State and the New York State Legislature should make every effort to preserve the District’s existing boundaries to the greatest extent practicable, now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED:

  1. That the Allegany County Legislature strongly urges the Independent Redistricting Commission of New York State and the New York State Legislature to make every effort to preserve New York’s 23rd Congressional District’s existing boundaries.
  • That a certified copy of this resolution be sent to the Independent Redistricting Commission, Senate Temporary President Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Assembly Minority Leader William Barclay, Senate Local Government Committee Chair James Gaughran, Assembly Local Government Committee Chair Fred Thiele, Senator George Borrello, Assemblyman Joseph Giglio, the New York State Association of Counties, and all others deemed necessary and proper.

I, Brenda Rigby Riehle, Clerk of the Board of Legislators of the County of Allegany, State of New York, do hereby ce1iify that the foregoing constitutes a correct copy of the original on file in my office and the whole thereof of a resolution passed by said Board on the 8th day of November 2021.

Moved by: Stockin                             Seconded by: Fanton                   VOTE: Ayes:  12           Noes: 0      Absent:  3      Voice:

Absent: Crandall, Decker, Harris

Allegany County Chairman Curt Crandall penned this press release that compliments the resolution above:

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