Onondaga County Legislator Charles Garland Leads Charge Against “New” 16th District Map – Legal Battle Looms

Garland seeding Not-For-Profit organization with $10,000 of his personal funds: The 16th District Development and Advisory Board and the Save The 16th District Fund

The elongated Legislative District runs from Erie Blvd. East to Seneca Turnpike

Newly- Elected Legislator set to engage in Democratic Party’s legal battle against Onondaga County

Newly- elected Onondaga County Legislator Charles Garland has fired the first salvo in what promises to be a battle for the 16th Legislative District.  Prior to beginning his service in office, Garland has been banging the drum, sounding the alarm that “something’s not right about the redistricting map as it relates to the 16th legislative district. ”

Garland become an outspoken opponent of the plan to redistrict the area, this exercise is conducted every ten years based on U.S. Census documented population shifts. His messages to the community have emphasized the lack of fairness and an apparent rush to implement these new District Maps, setting the district lines for the next decade.

Onondaga County Legislator Charles Garland

In a message released on Friday January, 7th 2022 Garland said, “Without any fanfare or media coverage. County Executive Ryan McMahon signed the new redistricting maps into law. We found out Monday, through word of mouth, and requested proof. Unless challenged, in a court of law, these maps will take effect in 2023.”

Since announcing his run for public office last year, 16th District Legislator Garland has become the recognizable voice of opposition to several developments within the 16th District.  Of NYS Department of Transportations plan to place a “Round-About” in front of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr School, Garland said, ” they identified a problem at Pioneer Homes regarding air quality and health of area residents, this plan moves the hazard down the street”.

With his most recent statement, it has become clear that this issue is not going away. Garland set out the parameters when describing several actions designed to protect voting rights in Onondaga County, especially in the 16th legislative district.  He’s looking at long term viability by creating a not-for-profit to support the 16th District Development and Advisory Board and the Save The 16th District Fund. 

The following is a message released by Garland, after the Public Hearing required by law in advance of signing the redistricting legislation into law.

A Message from Charles Garland the  Onondaga County Legislature 16th District Representative

I have attached the Onondaga County Redistricting Map that was signed into law by County Executive Ryan McMahon.

New City of Syracuse Legislative Map

In an unusual move, the map was signed into law without December 30th, without telling the Democratic Caucus or media. We found out by requesting the letter from the Legislative Clerk, Jamie McNamara.

In looking at the map you will see the NEW 16th district will stretch to Erie Blvd on the Northern border and almost to Wescott Street on the Eastern border, enveloping much of the Syracuse University Campus and student housing. None of which shares commonality with our existing geographically compact district.

(Click on following link for map  Onondaga County Legislative District Map-City of Syracuse)

After discussions with members of the members of the Advisory Board, including Charlene Tarver, David Rufus, Jackie Lasonde and Charles Pierce-El, WITH EVERYONE’S approval and blessing, to protect the interests of the residents and voters of the 16th District, we are planning to bring a lawsuit against the County Legislature and Reapportionment Commission, in addition to the lawsuit being brought by the Onondaga County Democratic Caucus, of which I am a part.

To initiate the process, make ourselves eligible for grants and to fund our lawsuit, with everyone’s permission, we are forming a non-profit, The 16th District Development and Advisory Board and the Save The 16th District Fund, which I will seed with $10,000, anticipating contributions and donations as we move forward.

As we look to the future, we will continue to maintain our faith in the 1965 Voters Rights Act, the legal process and in each other.

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

Strength though solidarity.