New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins appointed Deputy Westchester County Executive Ken Jenkins on Wednesday to fill an open seat on the state's Independent Redistricting Commission following the abrupt resignation of the commission chair.
Jenkins, a Democrat, is a former county legislator and Westchester County Board of Legislators chairman and candidate for county executive. He lives in the Senate District represented by Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat from Yonkers.
The Senate leader said she is proud to nominate Jenkins as her appointee to the redistricting commission in a statement Wednesday.
"Ken has been a highly effective Deputy County Executive for Westchester, bringing steady leadership and balanced solutions to our constituents with a rich background in community service," Stewart-Cousins said. "Throughout his career, Ken has fought for our working families by supporting fairer tax policies, affordable childcare, and local economic development. His commitment goes beyond public office, having also served on the boards of several outreach organizations and as the president of the Yonkers Branch of the NAACP for over five years. He will bring real-world insight and expertise to this important role, and will be a valuable addition to the commission's efforts."
Jenkins' appointment is effective immediately.
Commissioners will vote to elect a new chair and vice chair when they reconvene. A meeting date has not been scheduled.
David Imamura, an attorney at Abrams Fensterman LLP, chaired the 10-member bipartisan commission for the last two years. He resigned Tuesday to campaign to fill a Westchester County Legislature seat in a special election in the coming months.
Stewart-Cousins acted quickly to replace Imamura as the Independent Redistricting Commission has just over two weeks to draft new state Assembly lines to make a Dec. 2 court deadline. The Assembly lines were tossed after a state Supreme Court judge this summer deemed they were unconstitutional.
"I also want to thank David Imamura for his clear-eyed leadership as chair of the Independent Redistricting Commission," Stewart-Cousins continued. "We are grateful for his commitment to ensuring that New Yorkers across the state had a chance to weigh in on the process and for conducting the proceedings fairly and impartially. I wish him well in his future endeavors."