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. Read More
Yesterday afternoon, the New York City Districting Commission released its draft proposals for the district boundaries going into the 2013 elections, setting the first stage in framing what is destined to be a number of competitive councilmanic races next year.
However, in a statement, Chairman Benito Romano urged the public not to get ahead of itself and said the redistricting process is still ongoing. One way the public can provide input, the commission said in a followup statement this morning, is their online mapping tool now on the government website. Read More
State Senator Adriano Espaillat and Congressman Charlie Rangel are continuing to announce endorsement after endorsement of elected officials within and around the Congressional District they are both seeking to represent come 2013. The latest is Mr. Espaillat’s endorsement from Bronx Councilman Oliver Koppell, who referred to the district as “new” in his statement praising Mr. Espaillat.
“I am pleased to endorse State Senator Adriano Espaillat in the upcoming Democratic Primary for the 13th Congressional District seat,” he said. “I appreciate and commend Congressman Charlie Rangel’s long service in the Congress. However, a new District and a new day demands new leadership. … He will also be an important role model and advocate for the Dominican and Hispanic communities in my District and beyond. I endorse Adriano Espaillat.” Read More
The Senate Democrats’ lawsuit trying to throw out the Senate Republicans’ redistricting plan based on the addition of a 63rd State Senate seat was blocked this morning by the New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state judicial system.
Lawyers for the Democrats contended that the map’s unprecedentedly creative accounting techniques were unconstitutional, but the court, in an unanimous decision, ruled that the State Constitution doesn’t forbid the move and that the Legislature’s map are presumed constitutional unless explicitly proven otherwise. Read More
At Upper East Side City Council candidate Benjamin Kallos’ unique redistricting-themed fundraiser last night, Mark Favors, the lead plaintiff in the redistricting lawsuit that led to court-drawn congressional lines in New York, was the guest of honor and had some interesting thoughts on the redistricting situation, especially from his perspective as an African-American resident of Harlem.
“In Harlem right now, you know where Charles Rangel being my congressman, people are little bit disappointed in the redistricting process,” he said, suggesting Mr. Rangel’s new Latino-majority district has caused him to be less-than-popular in some political circles at the moment. Read More
After an elongated, drama-filled path, the three-judge panel has issued its final ruling for New York’s congressional map, locking district boundaries in place for the next ten years, barring any unexpected lawsuits.
Overall, the number of changes are extremely minimal. The only change in all of New York City is a slight shift along the Brooklyn waterfront between two Congressional Districts. There were also some technical changes Upstate, but these boundaries shifts are unlikely to significantly impact any of the ongoing races.
Click here to view the ruling.
View the changes and the final map below: Read More
Senate GOP Objection: Court Map ‘Needlessly Violates New York’s Traditional Redistricting Principles’
This afternoon, the Republicans controlling the New York State Senate filed their formal objection to the congressional redistricting plan currently being considered by a three-judge panel, and their arguments directly centered on the need for incumbency protection measures for Republican Representatives.
“Professor Persily generally dismisses the Senate Majority Defendants’ (and other parties’) concerns about ‘respecting the cores of prior districts,’ insisting such claims are merely ‘pretextual arguments for protecting incumbents,’ they wrote in their letter. “As a threshold matter, incumbency protection is a traditional redistricting principle, as Professor Persily himself has previously recognized.”
The letter further argued against placing incumbents politicians in the same districts if at all possible.
“[A]voiding incumbency pairings actually enhances the reality and appearance of judicial impartiality,” they wrote, again contending protecting sitting Representatives should be more highly prioritized in the process. Read More
After strangely delaying releasing what the actual State Legislative maps will look like under their latest proposal, Albany’s redistricting task force post finally released the maps this evening.
Like the State Senate plan that the Senate Democrats released earlier today, the State Assembly plan appears to change very little from the draft maps. The official release on the State Government website, however, provides additional detail.
While the Assembly Democrats declined to weigh in on the Special Master’s court-drawn map released yesterday, the Senate Republicans had a number of specific issues raised with individual districts. However, despite the judge indicating no desire to protect incumbents whatsoever, the Senate GOP’s legal arguments continued to press the point, along with arguing the need to better conform to tradition and protect select communities of interest.
Unsurprisingly, the Senate Republicans arguments seem to favor Republican incumbents’ reelection chances. For example, with GOP Congressman Michael Grimm’s new 11th district, they pushed for public housing to be removed from the seat and for ideologically conservative Orthodox voters in Midwood to be added instead. Read More
City Councilman David Greenfield held a press conference in Boro Park this morning to slam plans to create a new “Super Jewish” district in South Brooklyn which would consolidate Jewish neighborhoods there into one State Senate district.
Mr. Greenfield compared the effort to create the district to efforts 500 years ago in “The Republic of Venice” where, “They created a specific neighborhood for Jews to live in. They told Jews ‘It would be good for you. Why don’t you want to live with everybody. We are going to separate you we are going to put you in a neighborhood.”‘ Read More