10th District congressional candidate Imani Oakley is hitting the New Jersey Redistricting Commission over what she feels was an opaque process, failing to release the proposed maps or accept public input before voting on the final maps.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Nearly two dozen organizations asked the Commission to release its proposed maps before voting and to allow for public comment,” Oakley said in a statement.
“Instead, they are completely ignoring the public and doubling down on the backroom dealing that has hurt New Jersey so much in the past.”
The commission has until January 18th to finalize their congressional map proposals. Instead, they announced Monday that they would be voting on the final proposal in Trenton today in just a few minutes.
During the 10 scheduled public hearings, the commission heard from dozens of residents and organizations asking for a chance to see the final maps before the commission voted.
In addition to criticizing them, Oakley also pointed out her opponent’s inaction and lack of advocacy on the subject.
“With his own constituents at risk during the redistricting process, [U.S. Rep. Donald] Payne Jr. has been noticeably absent. There’s a genuine threat of Black communities of interest being split up — especially in Southern Montclair,” she added.
“Yet if you look to Donald Payne Jr., you’d never know anything was wrong: who’s side is Donald Payne Jr. on?”
In an interview with Insider NJ last week, Payne said he’d like the district to remain the same, noting he’d be okay with a portion of Montclair going to the 11th District as long as the 10th District maintained the 4th Ward.
Oakley and Payne are currently in a head-to-head contest ahead of the June Democratic primary, though the filing deadline isn’t until April 1st.