Rep. Charles Rangel, a Harlem Democrat and dean of New York’s House delegation, said he’d learned of the loss of seats “with a heavy heart.” He blamed the state’s weather and high cost of living for dampening its growth……Really…OK lets just blame the weather for all NY’s woes!!!!
New York state losing 2 seats in House
Published: Wednesday, December 22, 2010
NEW YORK — New York proudly calls itself the Empire State, but its national political influence continues to wane with the state slated to lose two congressional seats in 2012.
According to new figures released Tuesday from the 2010 Census, New York’s current 29-member House delegation will drop to 27, its lowest level since 1823. Only one other state, Ohio, is losing two seats as a result of the 2010 count. No other state is losing more than one, and several states are gaining.
The Democratic-controlled New York Assembly and newly Republican-led state Senate will be tasked with drawing the new congressional districts before the 2012 election, all but guaranteeing disagreement over the contours of the new map. Since 1980, legislative efforts to redraw districts in the state have all ended in an impasse, requiring federal and state courts to intervene.
This time, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch is spearheading an effort urging lawmakers to sign on to legislation creating a nonpartisan commission to draw district lines, which the Assembly and Senate then would ratify. He’s secured promises of support from members of both parties, as well as incoming Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Koch said on Tuesday that he expects lawmakers to make good on their pledges despite the shift of power in the Senate. He said the unexpected loss of two districts — rather than one, as many had hoped — shouldn’t affect anyone’s view of creating a redistricting commission.
“It’s all about who’s honorable and who is dishonorable,” Koch said. “Some signed the pledges and will now try to weasel out. Those are the people I have to go after yelling ‘Liar liar, pants on fire.“’
The Census found New York’s population grew just 2.1 percent since the 2000 count, less than half the pace of growth the state experienced through the 1990s. The fastest growing state, Nevada, saw a population increase of more than 35 percent over the past decade.
Rep. Charles Rangel, a Harlem Democrat and dean of New York’s House delegation, said he’d learned of the loss of seats “with a heavy heart.” He blamed the state’s weather and high cost of living for dampening its growth but said he and others in the delegation would work to retain New York’s clout in Washington.
“No matter how many seats we are, all of us are so proud to represent the great city and state of New York,” Rangel said. “We have so many qualities we can more than hold our own.”
New York’s delegation is set to diminish just as Republican representation is growing in the state. Currently, just two of the state’s 29 House districts are held by the GOP, but Republicans captured six more in last month’s midterm elections.
New York’s House delegation peaked just after the 1940 Census, when it had 45 members. It has slowly declined since, with a precipitous drop of five seats after the 1980 Census. New York lost three seats after the 1990 count and two more after 2000.
As expected, the new Census found states in the South and West gaining population faster than those in the Northeast and industrial Midwest.
Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania are slated to lose one House seat apiece. Florida will gain two seats to have a 27-member delegation like New York.
Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington each will pick up one seat, and most other states will stay the same. Texas is the biggest winner, picking up four new seats for a total of 36.