Windsor stole the show at the Connecticut Reapportionment Commission meeting to redraw the lines of voting districts Wednesday.
Having been carved into three House districts in 1981, Windsor has failed to hold a majority in any of its voting districts for 30 years.
Connecticut's first town was carved up a bit more Wednesday, this time into four districts, but it now holds a majority in one of them — district 5.
Formerly serving only Hartford residents, and represented by Deputy Speaker of the House Marie Lopez Kirkley-Bey, the Commission moved the district north, giving Windsor residents the majority.
Windsor will continue to be included in districts 15, 60 and 61 in addition to the new fifth district.
"The new plan brings back the rightful and just district that Windsor lost because of nasty political payback-back in 1981," said Windsor Democratic Town Committee Chair Leo Canty.
"30 years ago we were banished to political Siberia and effectively shut out of a process that was kind of invented in Windsor 375 years ago. Finally, we’re home, back in the game, and prepared to contribute again — rightfully so.”
Windsor Mayor Don Trinks rejoiced in the prospect of residents' voices being heard, saying "I think they'll have a feeling of more control in the capitol. I think they'll feel like their vote is going to matter."
The bipartisan commission drawing new state Senate and House district lines approved redistricting plans for both chambers of the General Assembly on Wednesday afternoon.
The Reapportionment Commission unanimously approved both redistricting proposals, which now must go to the Secretary of the State for her approval before they go into effect. The new districts, if approved by the secretary, would be in place for the 2012 General Assembly election cycle.
The commission, which was facing a deadline today to approve the redistricting proposals, was unable to reach consensus on a plan to redraw Connecticut’s congressional district lines. Under state law, the panel must now ask the Connecticut Supreme Court to give it a 30-day extension to draft and approve a plan.
The 9-member commission began work on redrawing the House and Senate districts in April after it was appointed by the legislature. Connecticut law requires that the districts be studied and, if necessary, their lines be redrawn if necessary, following each federal census. The most recent census was conducted in 2010 and showed that Connecticut’s population grew by nearly 5 percent to about 3.6 million people.
In addition to the large shif that took place in Windsor, 994 people in Groton’s 41st District will be shifted into the 40th District, which is also in Groton. The move, commission members said, was needed to correct an error in the 2010 federal census data, which moved those residents from the 40th to the 41st district.
Commission leaders said the redistricting effort was a daunting task, but a fair and open process devoid of the political shenanigans that often accompany such efforts in other states.
“We didn’t always agree and sometimes things got hot in the room, but this was a fundamentally bipartisan process,” said Senate President Pro Tem Donald Williams, a Brooklyn Democrat.
Maps and reports of the commission’s redistricting plans will be available on the panel’s website sometime Thursday, commission staffers said.