ALBANY — New York is considering a lawsuit after losing a representative in the House amid a Census that saw the Empire State fall just 89 people short of keeping all its seats.
Gov. Cuomo called on Attorney General Letitia James Tuesday to review the state’s legal options as far as challenging the decision.
“It’s obviously not desirable, and the last thing we want to do is lose representation in Washington,” the governor said during an appearance near Binghampton. “So, it’s not good news for the state.”
The call came as many of the governor’s fellow Dems placed blame for the outcome on Cuomo’s shoulders.
“For God’s sake, if the state had invested in the Census, could you have found 89 more people to count? Sure, easily,” Mayor de Blasio said during a Monday appearance on NY1 after the results were announced. “This was a lost opportunity by the state government to get the count right.”
Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brooklyn) went on a lengthy Twitter diatribe outlining how he believes the state failed act fast enough and provide the support needed to conduct the once-in-a-decade counting amid the COVID crisis last year.
“So forgive me if I’m a little incensed that this administration never took the Census seriously. Was it the only reason we missed the mark by 89 people? No,” he wrote. “Do I believe that we would be in a different position today had the Governor heeded the calls of the community? YES.”
The Census Bureau reported on Monday that New York’s Congressional delegation will shrink from 27 to 26. It is one of seven states losing a member of congress as a result of the 2020 count.
The slim margin is sure to raise questions about the census being conducted amid the COVID pandemic. The ramifications will play out as New York’s redistricting process gets underway.
An independent commission will helm the redistricting, but could wind up deadlocked, which would mean the Democratic-led state Legislature then takes over redrawing lines for legislative and congressional seats.
The loss isn’t due to population decline as the Empire State added about 800,000 residents and now boasts a population of more than 20 million. The issue is that other states grew at a faster rate over the past 10 years.
Cuomo blamed the fact that New York lost out on a House seat by only 89 people on the Trump administration’s efforts to not count undocumented immigrants.
“You had people who were nervous to come forward. You had undocumented people who were nervous to come forward,” the governor said. “I do believe the federal government had a chilling effect.”