Hempstead Town Hall.

Hempstead Town Hall. Credit: Howard Schnapp

More than a dozen Hempstead residents on Tuesday spoke out against proposed redistricting maps at Town Hall, echoing earlier concerns that redrawing the map could harm people of color and fracture their communities.

No one spoke in favor of the maps.

Town officials are considering redrawing council map boundaries for the first time since 2013.

Until now, residents have publicly voiced concerns during hearings to a temporary three-person redistricting commission, which concluded its meetings last month. The commission recommended that officials keep communities whole as the town undergoes its once-a-decade effort to redraw the six council districts.

The proposed map splits Baldwin, North Bellmore, Uniondale and West Hempstead into multiple districts. Baldwin, Uniondale and West Hempstead have significant minority populations, according to the U.S. census data.

Town board members did not comment on the proposed maps and took no action.

“Fair representation is very important,” said Mimi Pierre Johnson of Elmont. “The town board, you have a chance to save the day.”

Some residents criticized the transparency of the redistricting process, questioned the legality of the maps and said the proposal could land the town in court.

Proposed maps are available on the town website.

Officials will continue the public hearing on Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. in the Nathan L. H. Bennett Pavilion at Town Hall. Residents who spoke Tuesday will not be permitted to speak since officials are considering it a continuation of Tuesday’s hearing.

— BRINLEY HINEMAN

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