Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has appointed her conference's deputy, Queens Democrat Mike Gianaris, to the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment.
Stewart-Cousins also appointed Phil Chonigman, a geographic systems professional who works on and specializes in political geography. She also appointed Eric Katz, the Senate Democratic conference's deputy counsel who oversees floor operations.
The little known entity, which comes into existence every 10 years, is charged with drawing legislative boundaries for the state Senate, Assembly and House of Representatives in New York.
Like a lot of clunky-sounding entities in Albany only slightly better known by their acronyms -- this body is called "LATFOR" in Capitol-speak -- the panel could play a key role in how voters elect their represents to state and federal government.
But wait, you may be wondering correctly, didn't the old redistricting process get replaced with a more non-partisan version through a constitutional amendment?
Well, it was: A redistricting commission has been appointed to handle the work of determining, essentially, the voters for all 213 members of the state Legislature, plus the shape of the state's House seats, apportioned based on population.
But LATFOR is now something of a backstop if the commission's work is rejected by the governor or Legislature several times.
No one is quite sure what to expect from the revised process that was born out of an agreement in 2014 packaged with a measure creating a new pension tier.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo had sought the change in order to fulfill a campaign pledge the redistricting process would be reformed to a less partisan and more equitable method of drawing legislative boundaries.
But good-government advocates have increasingly and sharply criticized the revised process, arguing it only provides a patina of change. After all, the commission is still appointed by lawmakers.
Some observers at the Capitol this week raised the possibility of LATFOR still being a factor once the redistricting process gets underway, given the dissatisfaction with the coming process.