Second Round Of NYC Public Redistricting Hearings Wraps Up

Now that the New York Metropolis public hearings have ended, essential questions stay: Will the Democrats and Republicans on New York’s Redistricting Fee come collectively on an honest new set of maps, as a consequence of be delivered to the Legislature on January 15? Will the Legislature, managed by Democrats, throw out the Fee’s work and draw maps to learn themselves?

This spherical of hearings introduced much more New Yorkers out to argue for the modifications they noticed as obligatory to enhance our electoral districts. The #DrawDemocracy marketing campaign ran a profitable Fb marketing campaign urging New Yorkers to testify, in addition to working with elected officers, press and colleges, and even creating TikTok dances and yoga strikes based mostly on districts, to unfold the phrase.

It appeared clear that each Democrat and Republican maps have, in some instances, maintained mapping techniques that break up up neighborhoods, related items of unrelated and far-flung neighborhoods, and diminished voters’ political company. A couple of notably egregious examples engendered ire amongst voters:

On the Queens listening to, which lasted almost six hours, folks objected strongly to a number of draft maps’ effort to attach jap Queens with Nassau County. In Brooklyn, a number of residents of Orthodox Jewish enclaves in South Brooklyn mentioned they’d prefer to cease being a part of Congressman Jerry Nadler’s district, most of which is much away on Manhattan’s Higher West Facet.

In Manhattan, residents talked concerning the want for separate districts for the East and West Sides. One voter, Russell Squire, famous that visitors lights are timed to make north-south journey “convenient” and east-west journey “impossible.” Within the Bronx, folks commented on how the “Letters” (Democratic) State Senate maps break up varied Bronx neighborhoods and hooked up them to distant neighborhoods like School Level, Queens.

A lot dialogue additionally ensued concerning the Unity Maps, created by a consortium of civil rights teams working to guard the voting rights of Blacks, Latinos and Asian Individuals. The Unity Maps supporters made up a big group in Queens, but in addition had been a presence within the different boroughs. To this point they’ve launched maps for the Meeting and Senate; Congressional maps are anticipated quickly. Commissioners requested a variety of questions and appeared very engaged.

It was inspirational to see how critically folks took the chance to form their districts. Many males wore fits and ties; others wore conventional garb from their nations of origin; and a transgender lady from Astoria wore a sweater and pearls. A girl from Bangladesh spoke of being “moved beyond words” when she arrived in NYC to search out indicators in her personal Bengali language within the subway. A Russian teenager from Brooklyn named Ziv mentioned it finest: “Districts should not be based on a politician trying to keep themselves in office.” New York Metropolis deserves higher than that.

The #DrawDemocracy Campaign is a partnership of RepresentUS NYC and True Democracy NY. 
RepresentUs NYC is the New York Metropolis chapter of RepresentUS, the nation’s largest grassroots, a nonpartisan anti-corruption group.  True Democracy NY, a 501(c)4 nonprofit group, is a non-partisan group of New Yorkers devoted to altering the systemic dysfunction and corruption of New York politics.  We imagine in empowering on a regular basis folks to take motion domestically to repair our damaged elections and maintain politicians accountable.

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