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The original item was published from 5/18/2022 3:14:13 PM to 5/18/2022 3:16:41 PM.

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Posted on: May 18, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Mayors of Albany, Amsterdam, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, and Troy Urge Special Master to Ensure A

For Immediate Release: May 18, 2022

ALBANY, NY – Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Amsterdam Mayor Michael Cinquanti, Saratoga Springs Mayor Ron Kim, Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy, and Troy Mayor Patrick Madden have sent a joint-letter urging court-appointed Special Master Jonathan Cervas to ensure all five cities remain in the same Congressional district. The five mayors made the announcement Wednesday during a press conference at Albany City Hall.

The New York State Constitution requires the redistricting process consider existing districts and communities of interest that share “enough social and economic interests of importance that suggest said community should be included in a single district for effective and fair representation.”

Albany, Amsterdam, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, and Troy are the largest cities in the respective contiguous counties and share many of the same opportunities and challenges. The five cities are home to the largest communities of color in our respective counties and as well as some of the poorest census tracts. These communities share social and economic interests that must not be diluted. The mayors of all five cities continuously work alongside one-another to ensure they are advocating for those interests with a common regional approach in mind.

Being divided into two or more districts would dilute the shared social and economic interests of the Capital Region’s five largest cities and would have a direct, negative impact on some of the most historically challenged Census tracts in our region.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “Albany, Amsterdam, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, and Troy work together constantly to not only combat important quality-of-life issues faced by our residents but also to advocate for the necessary funding to make transformative investments in our cities. Our five cities are separated by approximately 40 miles and share many of the same challenges and opportunities, and separating us into two Congressional districts will have dire consequences for not only our cities but our entire region. I implore the Special Master to ensure the five largest cities in our contiguous counties remain in the same Congressional district.”

Amsterdam Mayor Michael Cinquanti said, “All five of our municipalities need representation at both the federal and state level that is laser-focused on passionately advocating and fighting 24-7 for the legislative and funding priorities we so closely share as cities located in the Capital District. By dividing us and placing us in new districts where these issues are not as commonly shared, the Special Master's proposal effectively reduces our representation in Washington. This should not happen ever.”

Saratoga Springs Mayor Ron Kim said, “Saratoga Springs has for many years been part of the Capital District from a regional, economic and cultural standpoint.  Many of our residents work in these other major cities and surrounding areas.  In turn many Capital Region residents visit Saratoga Springs to enjoy its world famous race course, its diverse downtown and thriving Arts community.  The best way to represent Saratogians in Congress is to keep us in NY 20 with Albany, Schenectady, Troy and Amsterdam.”

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said, “As mayors of the Capital Region’s largest cities, we continuously work together on a range of issues facing our residents. From our shared transportation networks, infrastructure projects, economic development, and regional planning initiatives – we cannot afford to dilute a unified approach to the shared social and economic interests of our region. Our communities share a strong, common history and only by continuing this work together on a unified front can we most effectively move our region forward.”

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden said, “The communities of Albany, Amsterdam, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, and Troy share more than just physical proximity – we also face the same common issues and challenges that impact our respective neighborhoods and residents. The separation of our cities into different Congressional districts will have significant impact on our communities and region, diluting our ability to effectively advocate for critical federal funding that supports vital municipal services and programs. I strongly urge the Special Master to preserve a single Congressional seat for the Capital Region’s largest cities to ensure the most effective federal representation possible.”

The final maps submitted by both sets of IRC Commission Members, ‘Congressional Plan A’ and ‘Congressional Plan B,’ and the maps drawn by the legislature all had our five cities in the same Congressional District. However, the draft final map released by Special Master Jonathan Cervas removed Amsterdam and Saratoga from the district currently serving all five cities. A final map is expected to be released on Friday, May 20, 2022.

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