Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries’ house and electoral base were removed from the court’s draft map for the congressional district he is seeking to represent, but he said this afternoon his plan is to continue his campaign for the 10th Congressional District held by incumbent Congressman Ed Towns.
After a rally in front of the federal courthouse urging the courts to modify their proposal, The Politicker asked if he would be willing to shift his campaign to the Congressional District he would live in under the court’s map, setting up a primary with Rep. Yvette Clarke instead of Mr. Towns.
“Well, again, that’s hypothetical,” he responded. “My plan is to move forward under the 10th congressional lines as they currently exist, or as they’re proposed.”
He has been steadily gathering endorsements and campaigning against Mr. Towns, so any change of campaign plans in reaction to redistricting, whether that would mean seeking reelection in the State Assembly or running for another office, would have a major impact in the Brooklyn political scene.
During the rally, Mr. Jeffries made the case for why Mr. Towns’ district, based in Brooklyn neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy and East New York, should remain connected to Mr. Jeffries’ base in Clinton Hill and Fort Greene.
“You have traditionally African-American communities in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill that are part of the same community of interest as Bedford–Stuyvesant,” he proclaimed before ticking off a laundry list of similarities between the two neighborhoods and the former district they used to be attached to.
“They share the same commercial corridor among Fulton Street and Myrtle Avenue. They share the same means of mass transportation along the A train, C train, and G line. They share a similar school district … Community Boards 2 and 3 often work closely together.”
This all contrasts poorly, Mr. Jeffries said, with the Italian-American neighborhood of Howard Beach in Queens that Mr. Towns’ district would pick up under the court’s plan.
“I’m no demographer, but I don’t think Howard Beach has anything in common with Bedford–Stuyvesant,” he said.
“We celebrate and embrace the diversity here in Brooklyn, but we just want to make sure that communities of interest are not cracked, splintered, [or] torn asunder inappropriately,” Mr. Jeffries later added.
Watch Mr. Jeffries rally against the new congressional lines below: