BK Reader: Brooklyn Neighborhood at the Center of Redistricting Battle

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Members of the Unity Map Coalition. Credit: Unity Map Coalition.

By Anna Bradley-Smith/BK Reader

The state’s Independent Redistricting Commission has been told to go back to the drawing board after failing to agree on how to divide districts including, Brooklyn’s Sunset Park, in its proposed electoral maps

A bipartisan committee tasked with establishing one new set of electoral maps for New York State has failed to do so, instead presenting two sets of opposing maps — one supported by the Republican committee members and the other by the Democratic members — that were both rejected by the state legislature this week.

At the center of the disagreement between the two partisan groups within the so-called Independent Redistricting Committee sits one Brooklyn neighborhood, Sunset Park, along with several other districts in the state.

Meanwhile, three racial justice organizations, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) and the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College, have created their own set of maps and are urging the IRC to adopt them.

On Tuesday, the Unity Map Coalition held a press conference saying the IRC had failed New Yorkers “by proving themselves incapable of rising above partisan political squabbling to create a fair, nonpartisan redistricting plan.”

“Of great consequence to communities of color, the dueling IRC redistricting plans submitted to and rejected by the New York State Legislature yesterday don’t reflect the voting strength of New York City’s Latino, Black, and Asian communities which form the backbone (and majority) of our City,” the coalition said in a statement.