One of the fiercest disputes over the decennial redistricting process raged on after the final versions of the new City Council district maps were released this week. Councilman Steve Levin insisted the process through which the districts were drawn was focused on substance while his potential rival, Lincoln Restler, repeatedly dismissed the new Council maps as rooted in political concerns.
“There was never a serious discussion,” Mr. Restler argued. “This was a political deal made by the Speaker and the local council member and it’s clear throughout the entire process that it’s nothing more than an incumbent protection program.”
Mr. Restler’s long-rumored bid to unseat Mr. Levin took a significant hit when the redistricting dust finally settled. In their final lines, the commission tasked with the decennial redrawing of City Council boundaries upheld an alteration to Mr. Levin’s 33rd District that added tracts of Hasidic Jewish voters likely to back Mr. Levin and removed parts of Brownstone Brooklyn favorable to Mr. Restler.
The Districting Commission tasked with redrawing City Council lines unveiled yesterday the latest, and likely last, version of those lines. After a process fraught with alleged backroom deals and heated public hearings, the lines are a City Council vote away from being final for another decade.
Some alterations were made to satisfy the demands of civic groups and minority advocacy organizations, but, at first glance, many were not.
“Does he have an office, though? Does he use the computer?”
The crowd jammed into Williamsburg’s Los Sures Museum last night for the New Kings Democrats’s first meeting of the year laughed at what was not necessarily intended to be a joke. Attorney Jason Otaño, an unsuccessful state senate candidate last fall, really wanted to know if Carl Hum, the executive director of the New York City Districting Commission, had an office and a computer.
Mr. Hum does indeed have both, but technology hasn’t been his biggest headache during this year’s decennial redistricting process where the City Council’s lines will be redrawn to reflect the latest Census numbers.
Due to this decade’s U.S. Census numbers, the New York City Council, like every legislative body the country, was Constitutionally required to adjust its boundaries to reflect population shifts within its jurisdiction. This afternoon, the city’s Districting Commission released its second, and likely final, proposal for the new lines.