This evening, the New York City Council Districting Commission released its proposed map for new NYC Council district lines to the City Council for approval. The Commission announced that the map would be submitted directly to NYC Council, without further hearings.
On August 30, 2012, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF, together with LatinoJustice PRLDEF, National Institute for Latino Policy (NILP), and the Center for Law and Social Justice (CLSJ) of Medgar Evers College submitted the Unity Map, a joint proposal for new City Council districts that reflects New York City’s changing demographics and protects the voting rights of Blacks, Latinos, and Asian Americans.
Under the Commission’s new proposed map, several Asian American communities remain divided, including:
- Chinatown and most of the Lower East Side remain split into two NYC Council districts
- Bensonhurst remains divided into four separate NYC Council districts
- Oakland Gardens continues to be divided from the remainder of Bayside
- Briarwood and Jamaica Hills are now unexpectedly divided between district 24 and 29
Certain proposed districts in the Commission’s new map resemble the Unity Map proposal:
- District 28: Richmond Hill/South Ozone Park
- District 25: Jackson Heights/Elmhurst
- District 38: Sunset Park
“The Commission’s proposed NYC Council district map has room for improvement in enabling New York City’s federally protected communities of color to have an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice, in accordance with the federal Voting Rights Act and the NYC Charter,” said Jerry Vattamala, staff attorney with AALDEF. “Asian Americans are a protected group under the federal Voting Rights Act and must be ensured fair and effective representation in any new redistricting plan. The Commission should have afforded the public the opportunity to comment on the proposed map before submitting the map to the City Council.”