VOCAL-NY on Prison Gerrymandering in Huffington Post

Ramon Velasquez recently blogged about a lawsuit seeking to block implementation of the new law ending prison-based gerrymandering in New York. Ramon is a VOCAL-NY leader who has organized for inmate rights from inside and outside prison walls for the past three decades. He was profiled by the New York Daily News for his efforts to end prison-based gerrymandering. Prison based gerrymandering has diluted voting power in communities most impacted by HIV/AIDS and the drug war.

Huffington Post: Don’t Turn Back the Clock on Equal Voting Rights in NY

What if I told you your vote counts more depending on where you live in New York? Should a resident of Wyoming or Cayuga County gets more say in who is elected than a resident of Brooklyn or the Bronx?

At 51, I voted for the first time in my life last fall after I was discharged from parole. Now that I’ve done my time, I expect my vote, or my neighbor’s, to count the same as any other vote cast in this state. A person living in a town with a prison, however, has more voting power than me or most other New Yorkers because of a practice called “prison-based gerrymandering.”

Read the rest here.

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