Last week, Shelter Island officially joined the new First Assembly District after the New York State Legislature signed off on a revised re-districting plan for the East End.
The new First Assembly District will include East Hampton, Southampton, Shelter Island and Southeast Brookhaven. With the exception of Shelter Island, 98-percent of this First Assembly District is currently represented by New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. will remain under his representation.
Pursuant to the 2010 United States Census, each Assembly District should have 129,089 residents, which is why the state had to redraw its district maps. The new district will have 128,932, 157 less people than the average, according to Thiele’s office. While Thiele has gained Shelter Island as a part of his district, the portion of his district in Brookhaven will be reduced by about 16,000 residents.
“I look forward to representing the new First Assembly District,” said Thiele in a statement issued last week. “Ninety-eight percent of the district includes areas I already represent. Shelter Island, which will be added to my district, was a part of my county legislative district in the 1980s. I have continued to work with Shelter Island on many regional issues and look forward to representing them again.”
Thiele added that the New York State Legislature has also given first passage to a state Constitutional amendment that would create an independent, non-partisan redistricting process for all future redistricting, instead of leaving it in the hands of the state legislature.
“I support a redistricting process that is independent and non partisan and have sponsored legislation that would have instituted such a process,” said Thiele. “It was disappointing that this year’s process was not the product of such an independent process. However, the proposed Constitutional amendment, if ultimately approved by voters, will insure that all future redistricting plans are prepared by an independent, non-partisan commission.”