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Second round of public hearings on NYC Council maps begin this week

New Yorkers can as soon as once more elevate their considerations on the not too long ago proposed New York Metropolis Council district traces throughout one other round of public hearings taking place throughout the town this week.

The hearings are organized by the NYC Districting Fee – a panel made up of mayoral and Council appointees – and goal to collect enter on simply the place the panel went proper or fallacious when drafting the primary set of maps launched final month. The primary round of hearings included nearly 18 hours of public testimony.

Listed below are the dates and areas of the hearings:

  • August sixteenth, 5:30 to 9 p.m. on the Museum of the Transferring Picture, Sumner Redstone Theater, 36-01 35 Ave. in Queens
  • August seventeenth, 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Lehman School (CUNY), Gilet Auditorium, 250 Bedford Park Blvd. West within the Bronx
  • August 18th, 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Staten Island Borough Corridor, 10 Richmond Terrace Room 125
  • August twenty first, 3:30 to 7 p.m. at Medgar Evers School (CUNY), Faculty of Science Wholesome & Know-how, Eating Corridor, 1638 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn 11225
  • August twenty second, 5:30 to 9 p.m. Schomburg Middle for Analysis in Black Tradition, 515 Malcolm Blvd. in Harlem,

“I think people bring their own unique feelings about their neighborhood, and that’s what we want to hear,” Dennis Walcott, the fee’s chair, stated. “Our goal is to break New York City down into the smallest component to hear about neighborhoods.”

The public is not going to be restricted to subjects associated to the actual borough that the public listening to is positioned in, Walcott stated. New Yorkers will even have the chance to attend the public hearings nearly and submit written testimony.

Each decade, the town is required to attract 51 new Council district traces following the most recent U.S. Census depend. Based on the latest census, New York Metropolis’s inhabitants grew from 8.2 million in 2010 to eight.8 million in 2020. Brooklyn was probably the most populous borough with 31% of New York Metropolis’s inhabitants. The town’s Hispanic and Asian inhabitants grew, whereas Black and white populations have decreased.

When the fee redraws district traces, they need to maintain honest illustration of racial teams in thoughts, restrict districts that cross borough traces, keep away from splitting voters of the identical political occasion and keep away from oddly formed districts. The fee should additionally be sure that so-called “communities of interest” – these described as having the identical ethnic, cultural or spiritual traits – be saved intact. The fee should additionally abide by the Federal Voting Rights Act that guarantee traditionally marginalized neighborhoods are pretty represented.

Final month, the 15-member New York Metropolis Districting Fee launched its first proposed set of maps, which created a brand new Asian and Pacific Islander majority seat in southern Brooklyn, reflecting the growing Asian inhabitants there. Critics stated the district traces disempowered the realm’s Latino neighborhood. Others voiced disappointment that the negotiations the fee had about drawing the preliminary district traces weren’t public.

“We understand that the advocates and others have requested this, and so we’ll listen,” Walcott stated.

The Metropolis Constitution additionally requires that every council district be “contiguous,” which implies that any district separated by water will need to have a connection by a bridge, tunnel, tramway or ferry service throughout the bounds of that district.

Queens Councilmember Julie Received stated the newly proposed twenty sixth Council District that she at the moment represents – which might fold a portion of Manhattan’s East Facet that’s at the moment within the fifth Council District and into the twenty sixth Council District – violates the Metropolis Constitution as a result of it doesn’t provide a contiguous path to the opposite facet of the district. She stated the brand new district traces additionally shrink the bulk immigrant inhabitants in her present district.

“They broke every single rule that they set for themselves in the City Charter,” Received stated.

Received famous the district isn’t contiguous as a result of she will solely get to Roosevelt Island by going by means of a neighboring district. However officers say that there are methods to get to Roosevelt Island and Manhattan inside her proposed district, such because the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge.

Alida Camp, an Higher East Facet resident who’s been intently following the redistricting course of, took subject with the proposed traces for the fifth Council District, which is within the Higher East Facet however not consists of Roosevelt Island. She stated Roosevelt Island is a residential neighborhood that may be a half of Manhattan and shouldn’t be combined with Queens. Camp fears the portion of the fifth Council District proposed to be drawn into the twenty sixth Council District will finally dilute political energy for areas like Roosevelt Island.

“We’re different boroughs with different demographics and many different concerns,” she stated. “It should be that we all have an equal voice in the City Council and this particular map will get rid of that.”

Camp stated she plans to attend the public listening to in Manhattan this week.

The redistricting course of has resulted in a two-year as a substitute of four-year time period for current council members, who should run as soon as once more subsequent yr.

After this round of public hearings in August, the fee will tweak the maps and submit them to the Council for an advisory vote. If the Council approves the maps then they are going to be submitted to the Metropolis Clerk’s workplace.

If the Council information a proper objection to the fee’s plan, it can set off a 3rd round of public hearings and a closing map will finally be redrawn and permitted by the fee with out the Council’s involvement.

The maps should be submitted to the clerk’s workplace by February subsequent yr.

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