County Executive Bello speaks about county legislative district map debate

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Monroe County Executive Adam Bello is stepping into the battle about the new district maps for county legislature. Bello said he opposed the current map under consideration.

That so-called “crescent” map is supported by Monroe County Legislature President Sabrina Lamar, Rachel Barnhart, and republican allies.

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They argue the map creates five majority-black districts. But Bello says those districts are already effectively black districts and the crescent map would unconstitutionally pack them with additional voters and dilute their voting power.

Bello said on Thursday that he will offer new maps based on input from two voting rights experts.

“This map is not good for our community in general,” Bello said. “And it certainly is not good for the community the people promoting this map are purporting to support. The only people benefiting from this map are the legislators currently supporting it.”

Supporters of the crescent map held a rally yesterday outside the county office building. They say the map is necessary for emboldening black voting rights, making voters of color heard, and remedying decades of racial segregation in Rochester.

“We are not going to wait another ten years for black voters to get the proportionate weight that they deserve,” said Brighton Town Board Member Robin Wilt. “We need to call the county today and we need to let them know (3:16) that we will not stand for more Jim Crow.”

Redistricting maps will likely be voted on sometime in October.