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Babylon Town Democrats to rally against redistricting

TOBABYLON0519 - Babylon Town Democrats on Saturday are kicking off a campaign against redistricting with a rally at Town Hall.

The campaign — called “Keep Babylon United, Not Divided” — is a fight against town Republicans seeking to create council districts within the town, where currently council members are at-large. Rally attendees are being asked to sign a pledge to “stand against any attempt to divide the Town against itself.” 

“We figured we’d get out ahead of it,” said Babylon Town Supervisor and Suffolk County Democratic Committee chairman Rich Schaffer. 

Last year, an effort led by Amityville Village trustee Nick LaLota to bring the issue to a November referendum failed after Democrat Town Clerk Carol Quirk found the wording of the petition did not meet town or state requirements.

Babylon Town Republican chairman and Suffolk County Republican Committee vice chairman Tony Pancella acknowledged that last year’s petition “was flawed” and said they are correcting it. 

Creating districts “gives local representation to residents,” Pancella said. “The communities in North Babylon might not care what’s going on in Copiague,” he said.

Schaffer said having at-large board members works better because “we’re not all talking in silos” and are instead working together to “find solutions to issues effecting all of us.” 

The rally will take place at 11 a.m. at Town Hall, 200 E. Sunrise Hwy., Lindenhurst.

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