Activists: Islip’s voting districts proposal would dilute Black community’s vote

Just as the Town of Islip came up with a new plan to divide the town into voting districts, several community members are calling on officials to go back to the drawing board because they say the new plan splits up the Black community's vote.

News 12 Staff

Feb 17, 2021, 11:07 PM

Updated 1,247 days ago

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Just as the Town of Islip came up with a new plan to divide the town into voting districts, several community members are calling on officials to go back to the drawing board because they say the new plan splits up the Black community's vote.
The town's new district plan came as a result of a lawsuit settlement after Hispanic community members sued the Town of Islip wanting fair representation in electing Town Council members.
The NAACP supported the settlement and the creation of four voting districts in Islip.
Bill Moss, of Brentwood, says the new plan now splits the hamlet of Central Islip between three of the four districts. Moss says Central Islip has the highest percentage of African Americans out of any hamlet in Islip.
He says the current proposal would dilute the Black community's vote.
“It really is an injustice to have their vote divided up and watered down and diluted so that they can't really elect someone who represents all of their interests," he told News 12.
During a virtual meeting Wednesday morning, concerned residents like Marvin Smith of Central Islip said the new plan only benefits elected officials.
"[It allows] the party in power within the town to choose their voters rather than voters choosing their representatives," he said.
Community activists say they are going to present the district map they designed to Town Council members as early as Thursday. The Town of Islip declined to comment on the matter.


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