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Ucci, McCaffrey named to co-chair redistricting commission

August 25, 2011

UPDATE:

As I tweeted, it’s worth noting that one of Speaker Fox’s picks, Ray Rickman, worked last year for once and perhaps future US House candidate Anthony Gemma.

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State Senator Michael McCaffrey, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and state Representative Stephen Ucci have been named by legislative leaders to co-chair a Special Commission on Reapportionment.

The commission is supposed to make its redistricting recommendations to the General Assembly by January 15, 2012, according to a legislative news release. (For general details on the history of redistricting in RI, check out this feature from 2001, and this followup.) 

The House Speaker and Senate President have each appointed four members from their respective chambers and each named three public members to the commission.  The House and Senate Minority Leaders have each appointed two members as well.

The commission is charged with making recommendations to carry out the constitutionally required redistricting of House, Senate and congressional districts in Rhode Island. The 18-member reapportionment commission will use the results of the 2010 federal census to redraw district lines to reflect population shifts in the state.

The legislation (2011-S 0924 and 2011-H 6096) instructs the commission to create districts that are as compact and contiguous as possible, taking into account “natural, historical, geographical and municipal and other political lines, as well as the right of all Rhode Islanders to fair representation and equal access to the political process.”

Here’s a rundown on other members appointed to the commission:

Joining Representative Ucci (D-Dist. 42, Johnston, Cranston) as House members appointed by Speaker Fox are: Rep. Grace Diaz (D-Dist. 11, Providence), Rep. Donald J. Lally Jr. (D-Dist. 33, Narragansett, North Kingstown, South Kingstown) and Rep. William San Bento Jr. (D-Dist. 58, Pawtucket, North Providence). Representative San Bento served on the commission the last time redistricting was implemented in 2002.

In addition to Chairman McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick), Senate members appointed to the Commission by President Paiva Weed are: Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence), Sen. Beatrice A. Lanzi (D-Dist. 26, Cranston) and Sen. Juan M. Pichardo (D-Dist. 2, Providence).

Appointed by House Minority Leader Brian Newberry are: Daniel P. Reilly (R-Dist. 72, Portsmouth, Middletown, Newport) and Joseph A. Trillo (R-Dist. 24, Warwick).

Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere appointed: Sen. David E. Bates (R-Dist. 32, Barrington, Bristol) and Sen. Francis T. Maher Jr. (R-Dist. 34, Charlestown, Exeter, Hopkinton, Richmond, West Greenwich). Senator Bates served on the commission that prepared for the 2002 reapportionment.

Speaker Fox has appointed the following three public members: Felix Appolonia of West Warwick and Ray Rickman and Delia Rodriguez-Masjoan, both of Providence.

President Paiva Weed named the following individuals as public members of the commission: Francis J. Flanagan of Middletown, Matthew F. Gunnip of Pawtucket and Arthur V. Strother, Sr. of Providence.

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