Below is a statement from his office:
CASTELLI VOTES ‘NO,’ UPHOLDS REDISTRICTING PLEDGE
Supports constitutional amendment to reform redistricting process
Assemblyman Robert J. Castelli (R, C – Goldens Bridge) today voted against the district lines proposed by the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reappointment (LATFOR), the entity responsible for creating new legislative maps.
“These maps were drafted behind closed doors with little meaningful public and community input,” Castelli said. “This is not the type of government reform that Governor Cuomo, good-government advocates and I have been calling for. I am truly dismayed that far too many of my colleagues were unable to rise to the occasion and do what is best for our state and the people we represent.”
Castelli’s “no” vote upheld an essential aspect of his “Hero of Reform” pledge to reform state government in three specific areas: independent redistricting, ethical government and responsible budgeting.
“I look forward to continuing to work with NY Uprising, other good-government groups and reform-minded legislators to bring needed change to state government,” Castelli said. “While I was deeply disappointed by this year’s redistricting process, which resulted in politicians choosing their constituents instead of the other way around, the Legislature was able to pass a constitutional amendment to create a fairer and more independent process moving forward.
“The constitutional amendment to change how the Legislature’s lines are drawn is an important step in improving New York’s redistricting process, but more needs to be done to ensure that communities and ethnic groups have better representation in Albany,” Castelli said.
Assemblyman Castelli is the author of his own legislation for independent redistricting (Assembly Bill A5819), which would adopt a citizens’ redistricting commission modeled on the process used in California. He was named a “Hero of Reform” by former New York City Mayor Ed Koch for his support of independent redistricting when he ran for his current Assembly seat in 2010.