As the 2020 Census approached, Czarny and another advocate for nonpartisan redistricting, Susan Lerner, executive director of the good government group Common Cause New York, pushed for the citizen-led model to be adopted in Syracuse.
The Onondaga County Legislature rejected the idea. But the Syracuse Common Council voted to adopt it, and city voters approved the change in a 2019 referendum. Until then, city lawmakers drew the district boundaries themselves.
“It really is a credit to the Common Council,’’ Czarny said. “They were willing to give up power. That is not the usual scenario. And that’s commendable.’’
“I really hope that at the end of this process, we will be saying this was the right way to do it,’’ Czarny said. “My plan is to show it to state lawmakers and say, look, 10 years from now, you should really be thinking about this.’’