‘Unity’ Coalition Has Some Ideas for City Council Redistricting

A coalition of Latino and Asian advocacy groups have released a proposal for the City Council’s consideration as they begin the decennial process of redrawing district boundaries for next year’s elections. The ‘Unity Map’ is of note because it can establish a baseline of maximizing minority representations and keeping communities of interest together. Indeed, when the New York State Legislature deadlocked over the the congressional redistricting lines, the courts intervened and implemented a map mirroring the Unity proposal.

Of course, the City Council, which is overwhelmingly Democratic and likely will aim for an uncontroversial incumbent-protection gerrymander that keeps almost everybody running for reelection happy, is unlikely to deadlock. Nevertheless, the map proposal that does emerge can be criticized by good government groups more effectively–for what it’s worth–when an alternative proposal is also out there.

From the press release explaining the Unity proposal:

The Unity Map unites the communities of interest in Chinatown and most of the Lower East Side into proposed district CD 1 [37.1% Asian American Voting Age Population (VAP)] while removing the distinct neighborhoods of Tribeca and Battery Park City. The two most divided Asian American neighborhoods in NYC, Richmond Hill/South Ozone Park and Bensonhurst (currently divided among 4 districts each), have been substantially improved so that they are mostly united within one district each, proposed CD32 for Richmond Hill [20.8% Asian American VAP] and proposed CD47 for Bensonhurst [33.9% Asian American VAP].

Latinos are New York City’s largest minority group, constituting 29% of the City’s 8.1 million residents. Under the Unity Map, there will be 11 Latino majority NYC Council districts rather than the current 10. Manhattan will gain one more Latino majority seat. Fourteen districts will have Latino populations over 40%, one more than the present number.

The coalition, consisting of Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Center for Law and Social Justice, National Institute for Latino Policy and La Fuente, plans to a press conference in front of City Hall next week to further push for the cause.

View the proposal below:

‘Unity’ Coalition Has Some Ideas for City Council Redistricting