Challenges to the New, New York District Lines

April 30, 2012 | Medgar Evers College

The new legislative lines for Senate and Assembly voting districts will disenfranchise African Americans and other minority communities, according to civil rights attorney Esmeralda Simmons. “Communities of color, particularly blacks and Latinos, have been cracked and split up to disempower them as voters,” says Simmons, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College. “Because of this [action], many people have challenged the new Senate district maps in court as being unconstitutional and in violation of the Voting Rights Act.” Simmons discussed her role at the Center, which she founded in 1985 as a community-based, racial justice organization, in a lawsuit over the legislative lines.