Why Are We Married To Staten Island?

So said one of the audience members questioning, and complaining about, the inclusion of a slice of southern Brooklyn in the Staten Island-dominated 11th Congressional District. It’s a reverse of the more common refrain from Staten Islanders who often feel politically neglected and marginalized.

Neither Democrat Vincent Gentile nor Green Partier James Lane quite got it right in their response, however.  Gentile was reasonably close, noting that the state legislature, not congress, is responsible for drawing district lines.  He omitted the fact that the current lines were actually drawn by a court-appointed expert as part of a federal lawsuit in 2012, however, and that the 11th district is a reasonable, coherent district.  Lane lamented the process and effects of gerrymandering without appearing to know that it’s not an accurate description of how the current congressional district lines were drawn nor of the composition of the current congressional districts.