Ramapo Minority Leader Sends Letter to State on Ward Vote

A Ramapo Town Board member announced this week that she has written a letter to the U.S. Justice Department asking for guidance in the upcoming ward vote. Brendel Charles wrote to two Assistant Attorneys General asking for a meeting to discuss the upcoming ward vote, stating that if instituted the system would “use the unconstitutional methods of packing and minority vote dilution.” Charles is the only minority leader on the board and stated that she wants to protect the minority residents in the town to be sure they are properly represented and to be sure the district lines will be clearly drawn. According to Michael Parietti and Robert Romanowski, who filed the petitions for the referendum, with the current system minorities are faced with a lack of representation and the ward system, which would allow voters to choose their representative based on the area of the town they live, and would increase the number of members on the board from four to six, would solve any problems of misrepresentation. Parietti stated that he would welcome the Attorney General to be a part of the vote, and to ensure the districts are fairly drawn. Spring Valley Trustee Anthony Leon, former Ramapo Board member Fran Hunter, and former Hillburn Mayo Bernard Jackson all signed the letter to the Justice Department.

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