Friday, January 27, 2012

Redistricting Blues

Every 10 years, after the census, the Assembly, State Senate and Congressional maps are redrawn. This process is called redistricting. Yesterday, we saw the first--and possibly last--draft of the new Assembly and Senate maps. (The Congressional ones aren't done yet.)

So, how does the Columbia Waterfront fare?

Not well.

Our Senate district may get a new name, but that's no big deal. We're in the 25th. We may become the 26th. Still, it's basically the same district now represented by State Senator Daniel Squadron.

The rub is the Assembly.

Right now, our whole neighborhood is in the 52nd Assembly District. Joan Millman is our assemblywoman. But under the proposed maps, we get divided between the 52nd and the 51st. That's the Red Hook-Sunset Park district now held by Assemblyman Felix Ortiz.

Take a look:

Now, this is only a draft. A lot could happen between now and ... well, redistricting is contentious, and it has a way of dragging on. Let's just say a lot could happen. Then again, maybe not.

This point is this: If the final maps look like the proposed ones, then the voting power of the Columbia Waterfront, such as it is, will be diluted. When Assemblymember 52 looks at our neighborhood, or Assemblymember 51, they're going to see a lot fewer votes than Assemblymember 52 sees now.

This may or may not matter in the short run. But in the long run, two Assemblymembers are not better than one.

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