Thursday, March 18, 2021
3:00 – 5:00 pm EST via Zoom
Congressional Redistricting in New York State (Full Webinar)
This webinar will introduce participants to the process and challenges New Yorkers, particularly Hispanics, will face in the upcoming redistricting of congressional districts that takes place every ten years. Centro: the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, the leading academic research institute dedicated to the study of the Puerto Rican experience in the United States, and the largest and oldest Latino Studies research institute on the East Coast, along with LatinoJustice-PRLDEF, the premier Latino public interest law practice and leading legal advocacy and human and civil right Hispanic organization on the East Coast, will describe what Hispanics can expect from the reapportionment and redistricting process taking place in 2021, discuss the findings of a new research brief from Centro on the subject, and learn how Hispanics can become actively involved in the process of redrawing political boundaries in New York State.
Joining this discussion will be the Honorable Robert Rodríguez, member of the New York State Assembly and co-chair of the New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment, and Dr. Ivelisse Cuevas-Molina, Assistant Professor at Fordham University and member of the New York Independent Redistricting Commission, charged with redrawing legislative districts in the state.
Carlos Vagas Ramos Presentation
Juan Cartagena Presentation
Fulvia Vargas-De Leon Presentation
Discussion with the Honorable Robert Rodríguez, and Ivelisse Cuevas-Molina
Redistricting 2020: Challenges to Hispanic Congressional Representation in New York State
by Carlos Vargas-Ramos
The process of apportioning political power in the United is about to begin. New York Latino U.S. representatives, and specifically Puerto Rican representatives, are vulnerable to losing their congressional seats in the upcoming process of congressional reapportionment and redistricting. This brief presents an analysis of population change at the state, county and congressional district levels to illustrate the changes to come in the process of congressional reapportionment and redistricting as it affects federal political representation in New York State. New York gained population between decades, but at a very low rate. New York gained population because of the sustained growth of the state’s Hispanic population, which countered the declining population of the state, particularly the decreasing non-Hispanic white population.
Carlos Vargas-Ramos, Director of Public Policy and Development at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College (CUNY), centropr.hunter.cuny.edu
Lucia Gomez, Political Director at NYC Central Labor Council - AFL-CIO; and Executive Director of LA Fuente A Tri-State Worker & Community Fund Inc, www.nycclc.org; LGomez@nycclc.org 201-988-8824
Ivelisse Cuevas-Molina, New York Independent Redistricting Commission, www.ivelissecuevas.com/research
Carlos Vargas-Ramos is the Center for Puerto Rican Studies’s Director for Public Policy, External and Media Relations, and Development. As social scientist, he has worked on the impact of migration on Puerto Rican political behavior, political attitudes and orientations, as well as on issues of racial identity. A political scientist by training, Dr. Vargas-Ramos is editor of Race, Front and Center: Puerto Rican Perspectives on Race, and co-editor, along with Edwin Meléndez, of Puerto Ricans at the Dawn of the New Millennium. Carlos is also author, among others of “Political Crisis, Migration and Electoral Behavior” CENTRO: The Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies 30(3): 279-312 (2018) and “The role of state actors in Puerto Rico’s long century of migration,” in Anke Birkenmaier, editor Caribbean Migrations: The Legacies of Colonialism (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press) 2020.
Lucia Gómez is the Political Director of the NYC Central Labor Council – AFL-CIO. Prior to joining the NYC CLC, Lucia was the Director of Organizing and Strategic Partnerships for LiUNA Local 78. Lucia has been engaged in census and redistricting work since 1999. She first served as LatinoJustice PRLDEF's East Coast Latino Voting Rights Project Director, and later as a Policy Fellow with the National Institute for Latino Policy.
Juan Cartagena is a constitutional and civil rights attorney who is the President & General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, one of the nation’s leading civil rights public interest legal organizations that represents Latinas and Latinos throughout the country and works to increase their entry into the legal profession. Mr. Cartagena is particularly recognized for his work on the political representation of poor and marginalized communities – especially Puerto Rican and Latino communities. His publications focus on protecting the voting strength of Latinx voters and his voting rights litigation has taken him to courts in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Philadelphia, Massachusetts, Florida and New Hampshire.
Fulvia Vargas-De Leon is an Associate Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF. Her practice focuses on voting rights issues including enfranchisement of individuals formerly incarcerated and language access as well as redistricting. Prior to joining LatinoJustice, she was a Staff Attorney at Bronx Legal Services and the New York Legal Assistance Group where her practice focused on housing, labor and employment and public benefits. Fulvia is a graduate of the Syracuse University College of Law and Lehigh University.
Robert J. Rodriguez was elected to the New York State Assembly in November 2010. He represent the 68th Assembly district. As an Assemblyman, Robert focuses on protecting and creating affordable housing, bringing good jobs into our community and ensuring our children get the quality education they deserve. He is co-chair of the New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment.
Ivelisse Cuevas-Molina is an assistant professor of political science at Fordham University Rose Hill College in the Bronx, where she teaches courses on American politics, political participation, racial and ethnic politics, and Latino Politics. She grew up in Lares, Puerto Rico and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras. She currently serves as a non-partisan member of the New York State Independent Redistricting Commission
This event is cosponsored by LatinoJustice PRLDEF