Legislator Williams Calls on County Executive Ryan McMahon to Veto Racially Gerrymandered Maps

Syracuse, NY – Onondaga County Legislator Vernon M. Williams, Jr. in the strongest possible terms, condemned the egregiously gerrymandered maps the Legislature and its GOP Majority approved on Friday. These maps which he says were drawn illegally could have the potential to shape who gets to choose their elected officials for the next decade.

“Democracy is a sacred American tradition. Voters in my district take this especially seriously. Representing a majority-minority population, I understand that many of my constituents wouldn’t have had the right to vote just 60 years ago. These maps and the process they were drawn infringe on the concept that voters should choose their elected officials. Elected officials should not choose their voters and that is what has happened here,” Legislator Williams said.

The map approved on Friday takes the Southside which is one of the highest areas of concentrated poverty in the nation and divides it. Half of it is paired with the affluent Downtown and University neighborhoods and the other half is paired with the Valley, Outer Comstock, and Westcott areas. Districts should keep voters who have common interests together and not divide neighbors.

Legislator Williams was proud to see that there was Bi-partisan opposition to these maps with two Republicans siding with the Democrats in voting no. However since the maps fell only one vote short of being defeated, this now moved to County Executive Ryan McMahon who can choose to veto it.

To date, County Executive McMahon has shown complicity in this process. The member of the Reapportionment Commission that he appointed chaired the committee and did so in a dictatorial fashion. County Executive McMahon has even made public statements saying that redistricting is a political process, which indicates he may think doing what’s best for the community is not the goal here.

“Although County Executive McMahon may see these maps positively, he seems to know that this is politics. I would like to appeal to his better angels and ask him to reconsider for the good of the people” said Legislator Williams.

Legislator Williams is calling on his constituents in the 16th County Legislative District and all across the county to stand up and speak truth to power.

The County Executive is holding the final public hearing. Please attend and make your voice heard by calling the Office of the County Executive at 315-435-3516

Final County Redistricting Public Hearing
Friday, November 19th at 11 am
14th Floor Conference Room, Civic Center
421 Montgomery St, Syracuse, NY 13202