The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), together with Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association – New Jersey (APALA), Korean American Voters’ Council (KAVC), South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), and the South Asian Bar Association (SABA), has advocated throughout the New Jersey redistricting process to ensure that the Asian American community would not be divided.
In March 2011, AALDEF submitted proposed redistricting recommendations for New Jersey State redistricting. Our efforts resulted in Fort Lee and Palisades Park being kept whole and together in the same senate district, a victory for the Asian and Korean American community in New Jersey. AALDEF and KAVC later testified at the October 11, 2011 New Jersey Redistricting Commission public hearing in Newark to advocate for keeping Asian American communities of interest together within congressional districts (CDs) when the new district lines were drawn.
Impact of New Jersey Congressional Redistricting on the Asian American Community
Under the new congressional plan, the highest concentration of Asian Americans in a district is 16.8% in CD6 (which includes Edison), an increase from the previous high of 15% in CD12.
Bergen County – AALDEF testified that Fort Lee, Palisades Park, Leonia, and Ridgefield was a community of interest that should be kept whole within one CD. AALDEF also submitted a proposed CD for Bergen County that kept these communities together, and included the Asian American communities of Tenafly, Cresskill and Bergenfield.
The new CD9 keeps Fort Lee, Palisades Park, Leonia, and Ridgefield together and adds the communities of Tenafly and Cresskill, which were previously part of another CD. The Korean American community in New Jersey is now kept whole within CD9, providing it increased political influence in accordance with its population growth. The overall Asian American percentage in CD9 decreased from 14.3% to 11.9%, due in part to the fact that a small portion of Jersey City is no longer in the district, however, the combined Asian American, Black, and Latino population now make minority voters the majority in CD9.
Middlesex County – The county was previously divided into four CDs. AALDEF advocated for the Asian American communities in the county to be consolidated within fewer CDs. The county is now divided into two CDs, CD6 and CD12, rather than four. The Asian American percentage increased in CD6 from 11.9% to 16.8%, and the percentage slightly decreased in CD12 from 15% to 14.3%. The previously splintered city of Edison, with a high population of Asian American voters, is now kept whole within CD6.
Hudson County – Jersey City, which contains the largest concentration of Asian Americans in Hudson County, was previously divided into three different CDs. AALDEF advocated for Jersey City to be consolidated within fewer CDs. Jersey City is now spread across two CDs, CD8 and CD10, instead of three. The Asian American percentage in CD8 increased from 6.5% to 7.9% and in CD10, the percentage increased from 4.4% to 6.4%.
New CD9 (Solid purple line) over Old CD9 (Solid green line and red dots)
For further information, please contact:
Jerry Vattamala, Staff Attorney
Glenn Magpantay, Director, Democracy Program
Ujala Sehgal, Communications Coordinator
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