BENITO ROMANO Chair of the Commission

November 30, 2012
www.nyc.gov/districting Commissioners Benito Romano, Chair Jamila Ponton Bragg Scott Cerullo Kamillah M. Hanks Robert W. Hart Linda Lin Oscar Odom III Thomas Ognibene Frank Padavan Roxanne J. Persaud Madeline Provenzano John Robert Gloria Carvajal Wolfe Marc Wurzel Justin Yu Staff Carl Hum Executive Director Office 253 Broadway, 7th Fl New York, NY 10007 tel: (212) 442-6940 fax: (212) 788-9470 info@districting.nyc.gov

BY HAND Speaker Christine C. Quinn Council of the City of New York City Hall New York, NY 10007 Dear Speaker Quinn, Thank you for your letter of November 29, 2012, in which you request that the New York City Districting Commission (the “Commission”) withdraw its submission to the Council in order to afford the public an additional opportunity to comment on the proposed plan, without the Council having to take action by vote, as contemplated by the New York City Charter. As you note, in the Commission’s letter to the Council, dated November 16, 2012, which transmitted the proposed plan to the Council, we expressed a strong preference for additional public input in the development of the districting plan. Our interest in continuing to solicit public comment echoed broad public expressions of interest in continuing the public process prior to the finalization of the plan. Recognizing the possibility that the Council might not return the districting plan to the Commission before the deadline of December 10, 2012, the Commission considered whether it had legal authority to act in the absence of Council action on the plan, and explored alternatives for the continuation of the public process. Having considered preliminary advice from the New York City Law Department, we have concluded that, with regard to the plan received by the Council on November 19, 2012, there is no legal impediment preventing the Commission from withdrawing the plan before the Council takes action (or the deadline expires), and that taking action to withdraw the plan would allow public hearings to be held, which should contribute to a plan that fairly reflects the views of the people of the City of New York. In order to exercise this authority, the Commission would need to withdraw the plan from Council consideration prior to December 10, 2012, the date upon which the plan would otherwise be “deemed adopted” pursuant to the Charter. If and when I receive final confirmation from the Law Department that the Commission may properly proceed in this manner, I intend to call a meeting of the Commission for the purpose of voting on a resolution to withdraw the plan from the Council’s consideration. For this reason, I respectfully suggest that the Council suspend consideration of the plan received by the Council from the Commission on November 19, 2012 until this Commission is able to act in accordance with the foregoing. Respectfully,

Benito Romano Chair of the Commission

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