Voters Should Pick Their Leaders - Leaders Shouldn’t Pick Their Voters

An important message from Assemblyman Phil Ramos:

Partisan politics shouldn’t be getting in the way of fair representation!

Dear Voter,

A proposal to change how your town council is elected will be on this November’s ballot. Council members are currently elected at large by all the voters of Islip, but, if this measure passes, they will be elected from four regional wards. The plan brings town government closer to the residents by doing away with an entrenched single-party system that has allowed too many people to be underrepresented for far too long.

Unfortunately, in an attempt to control the process of democracy, Town Board members also passed a resolution giving themselves the power to draw their own districts. In fact, former Town Supervisor Pete McGowan said in a March 8, 2006 Newsday article, “We’re not going to ‘fix’ the boundaries. We’re going to draw the boundaries.” Should the Town Board members really be playing partisan politics with the district lines? I believe the citizens of Islip deserve a government that represents every community’s interests – not just those of the Town Board members.

It’s imperative that something as fundamental to our democracy as who we can vote for be decided in a fair and bipartisan way. While it may not be perfect, I believe the Board of Elections is the proper entity to oversee this process. Working in conjunction with a Community Advisory Roundtable, made up of community leaders who fairly represent different cross-sections of the town, a just compromise can be reached. This roundtable would engage in healthy debates to advise the BOE on how to draw the lines in the fairest and most representative way.

There is also some question over whether or not the Town Board even has the legal authority to draw its own districts. Legal issues aside, the Town Board should do the right thing and let the bipartisan Board of Elections draw the district lines with input from community leaders to ensure the most democratic form of representation. The people of Islip have earned it.

Philip Ramos
Member of Assembly

Everyone’s Voice Should Be Heard

Join me in telling the Town Board that we deserve a ward system that
is created in a fair and bipartisan manner with input from the community.

**Click here for a printable view**





Assemblyman Philip Ramos Please mail completed forms to:
1010 Suffolk Avenue
Brentwood, NY 11717
Tel: (631) 435-3214
Fax: (631) 435-3239