VOCAL-NY and our allies are working to defend the new state law ending prison-based gerrymandering. On May 18th, top civil rights organizations representing VOCAL-NY and others filed a motion in New York Supreme Court asking to intervene to help defend New York’s new law allocating people in prison to their home communities for redistricting and reapportionment.
As VOCAL-NY leader Ramon Velasquez wrote in a recent Huffington Post op-ed Don’t Turn Back the Clock on Equal Voting Rights in NY, “I did not know that I was being counted as a resident of Wyoming County when I was incarcerated. I always considered Brooklyn my home, which is where my family lives. When I came back to my old neighborhood, I had to deal with HIV/AIDS, homelessness and finding work. Those are issues that many people in my community have to deal with, and we need adequate political representation to ensure they are addressed in government.”
You can also listen to an interview with Ramon during a WAMC Public Radio story on the case: Civil Rights Organizations File Motion to Defend Law Ending Prison-Based Gerrymandering.
The coalition press release is below.