Common Cause Response to the Districting Commission’s Revised Plan for NYC

For Immediate Release:


February 7, 2013

Susan Lerner, 212-691-6421

Common Cause Response to the Districting Commission’s Revised Plan for NYC

In response to the NYC Districting Commission’s revised plan for New York City Council Districts, Common Cause/NY released the following statement:

“Compared to the draft plan released in December, numerous areas of the plan have been improved in response to community input. Significant improvements include keeping the Manhattan Valley neighborhood entirely within Council District 7, returning Randalls Island to Council District 8, and reuniting the South Asian communities of Briarwood and Jamaica Hills within Council District 24. The Commission should also be commended for releasing its revised plan in advance of its vote, and releasing a detailed explanation of its plan and the criteria behind its decisions.

We are pleased to see that the Commission has responded to community concerns in restoring Randall’s Island to Council District 8, as well as the Carver Houses and Mt. Sinai Medical Center. However, the lines in the Bronx remain artificially inflated to create a majority Bronx district by only 278 individuals. In so doing, the Commission has given the Bronx disproportionate representation compared to Manhattan; a political maneuver with no objective justification and without any community support.

Despite certain improvements, the overall process in New York City has been disappointing. Most problematically, the Districting Commission has publically acknowledged taking into account the needs of incumbent lawmakers, and prioritizing political concerns over those of the public. This runs contrary to the entire point of having a seemingly independent body draw councilmanic lines. Whereas a number of districts are indeed acceptable, the public trust has been undermined by credible reports of political favoritism.”