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New Yorkers Protest New Redistricting Maps Drawn By State Legislature

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Republicans have filed suit to stop congressional and state legislative redistricting in our area, and even some Democrats are expressing concern.

Protesters of new redistricting maps drawn by the state legislature say this is not what democracy looks like -- new lines that could change the makeup of various congressional and state legislative districts.

"As an Indo-Caribbean/South Asian community, it's about being divided over the next decade," said Mohamed Amin, executive director of the Caribbean Equality Project.

Amin says new Assembly lines drawn in Richmond Hill will mean less representation among various groups.

"It's going to dilute our political power. It's going to dilute our ability to elect a candidate of our choice," Amin told CBS2's Dick Brennan.

Protesters say they never got an opportunity to get a fair hearing on the new lines.

"We would have asked about Congressional District 10 that they've drawn ... Why they divided Chinatown, Manhattan, from the Lower East Side when they are intrinsically linked by several socioeconomic factors," said Elizabeth Ouyang, with Asian Pacific American Voice.

Republicans are not happy either. They've filed suit saying the new lines are "undeniably politically gerrymandered" to flip seats to Democrats.

"Prognosticating the results of elections is a very dangerous game," State Sen. Mike Gianaris said.

But Gianaris says Democrats are on firm ground and the Republcian lawsuit is not surprising.

"Ten years ago, we were the ones who were suing. Now we're being sued. This is something that always ends up in the courts. They evaluate whether everything was done properly. We're very confident that we complied with all the requirements of the Constitution," he said.

Good government groups say the lines should be written to promote competition, but don't expect that from either side any time soon.

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