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The Eye-Opener

Let the Battle of Maps Begin

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Deliberations over how the New York City Council's district lines will be drawn for the next decade is getting communities and advocacy organizations into a map-making mood. One coalition of civil rights organizations released a map today of how they think the Council's district lines should be drawn to account for shifts in demographics and to protect the voting rights of blacks, Asians and Latinos.

The mapmakers say they followed the U.S. Constitution, the Voting Rights Act and the city Charter to come up with their Unity Map. They also say they sought to protect "traditional and emerging neighborhoods."

The Unity Map is the work of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, National Institute for Latino Policy and the Center for Law and Social Justice of Medgar Evers College.

Juan Cartagena, president and general counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, called it a "fair map."

"We must ensure that the Latino community has the opportunity to elect members who will pay attention to their needs and concerns," he said in a statement.

Many more maps are expected to be forthcoming in the next few weeks from various interest groups as the city's Districting Commission weighs tough decisions about how to shape the Council lines.

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Guest Saturday, 20 September 2014