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Federal judge imposes a map: Puerto Ricans vote diluted into two districts

August 6, 2011

U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny imposed an 11 Erie County Legislative district that appears to have diminished  the possibility of any Puerto Rico or Latino ever  elected to the Erie County Legislature as previously possible in the defunct 6th District Maria Whyte occupied since 2006.

The plan he created though it includes two districts where minorities make up  a higher number of the residents, it seems to favor African-Americans candidates over a Latino one, pitting one group against the other for elective office.

For example,  ” District 1 has a population of 83,361, with 58.38 percent of the residents black and 11.7 percent Hispanic. District 2 has 83,502 people, with 53.24 percent of them black and 10 percent Hispanic.”

And, there is been the idea that Puerto Ricans and African-Americans composed a political coalition of some sort that will come together to elect a candidate that would represent the interests of both groups, a false perception.

Since its too late for candidates to begin passing out the designating petitions for their parties to run in a primary, Skretny  is allowing, “the parties’ county committees select candidates, a course that favors incumbents over challengers,” as Buffalo News reported Matthew Spina cited. And a disadvantage for Legislator Barbara Miller-Williams who sided with the Republican blog to chair the Legislature.

Yet,  those party headquarters didn’t select have the option of circulating an independent nominating petition for the general election  in November until Sept. 15.

old map with 6th district

court map

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