redistricting Tag All blog entries tagged as redistricting Sat, 12 Jul 2014 11:39:11 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb New City Council Maps Make It To The US Justice Dept The final version of New York City's revampe district maps have made their way to the U.S. Department of Justice, which has a little under two months to evaluate their compliance with the Voting Rights Act.

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Despite some uproar from some local groups, the maps were finalized by the city’s Districting Commission in February and passed through the City Council in March without a vote.

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The DOJ now has until May 24 to make sure that the maps don’t impair voter accessibility and protections for minority voters in Manhattan, Bronx and Brooklyn, all of which are protected under Section 5 of 1965’s VRA.

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The public can make comments during the 60-day evaluation period. Barring any violations of the VRA, the federal government's approval would mean the new maps would go into effect before the upcoming primary, which is expected to take place in September.

The Districting Commission already held three rounds of public hearings in each borough and heard testimony from more 300 New Yorkers before voting to approve the maps in February by a vote of 14 to 1.

New Yorkers can email their comments to or send mail to:

Mr. Chris Herren Chief, Voting Section Civil Rights Division Room 7254 – NWB Department of Justice 950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W. Washington, DC 20530

Final City Council Maps by Chester Soria

]]> (Administrator) City Mon, 25 Mar 2013 19:48:23 +0000
Districting Commission Sends New Maps To DOJ The commission responsible for drawing up the latest redistricting maps says it will now send its final plan to the U.S. Department of Justice for review.

The Districting Commission also said Monday it had already submitted the plan to the city clerk. Next, the DOJ will need to evaluate whether or not the communities falling in between the lines are either willfully or inadvertently discriminated against based on race or color. Otherwise known as the Section Five of the Voting Rights Act, the protections only apply to Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

The Department of Justice will have 60 days after it receives the commission's maps to evaluate the lines for the city's 51 districts. The City Council quietly filed the maps last week. No council members lodged complaints by Friday's deadline — meaning the plan was effectively adopted.

]]> (Administrator) City Mon, 04 Mar 2013 21:46:58 +0000
Clock Ticking Down On New Council District Map City Council members only have a few hours left before the newly drawn district maps are sent to the clerk’s office.

While the Council’s agenda on Wednesday may have been dominated by news of its immigration reform and street vendor bills, the Council also filed the Districting Commission’s revised maps. Members must file any objections to the commission by 5 p.m. Friday, otherwise the map will move on to the city clerk’s office — effectively meaning the Council has approved the lines without a vote.

The lines wil then be submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice for review.

Andrew Berman, director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, said he was disappointed there wasn't more of an announcement from City Hall.

“The fact that there have been no public statements,” Berman said, “is somewhat distressing.”

He emphasized the far-reaching consequences that the new maps will have on the city’s communities, including his own. Berman said that while the city can’t change district lines based on speculation, the commision should have reflected on how the lines will affect Council Disctrict 3, represented by Speaker Christine Quinn, which was the most populous district in Manhattan and yet was shrunk.

James Hong of the Asian American Community Coalition on Redistricting and Democracy said that Wednesday’s actions are what the group expected. He described the redistricting process as one where Council members can discreetly influence maps without having to publicly acknowledge their part in the system.

“It’s created an opaqueness to the process,” Hong said.

The coalition, which includes 14 advocacy groups, came out strongly to criticize the redistricting process, specifically in the map’s treatment of the Asian-American community in Bayside, Queens.

The commission, made up of 15 political appointees, approved the maps on Feb. 6 with a 14-1 split. The city charter gives the Council three weeks to adopt, reject or take no action, which becomes the equivalent of adoption. If anyone objects before the weekend, more hearings would need to be scheduled.

In a statement after its vote, the Districting Commission said that the new maps create 35 minority districts, compared to 30 in the 2003 maps.

]]> (Administrator) City Fri, 01 Mar 2013 19:28:46 +0000
Headlines: MTA finances improved; Council redistricting called unfair

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the M.T.A.'s finances have improved after years of crises thanks to increased ridership, higher tax collection, and cost-cutting measures. But he noted that fare hikes outpace inflation and financing sources for future projects remain unclear. The legal challenge to the payroll tax was also raised as a significant hurdle. Meanwhile, the state budget has generally stabilized from the recent past, when it lurched from multi-billion dollar crisis to crisis, he said.

]]> (Mike Muller) City Wed, 03 Oct 2012 12:32:31 +0000
Draw Your Own City Council Maps

Now just about anybody can draw up their own version of the City Council's district lines.

The independent commission set up to redraw the Council's lines to reflect the city's changing demographics today released free software online that can be used to create and submit maps for consideration.

The goal is to make the districting process more transparent and open to the public.

Every 10 years after the U.S. Census count, the district lines are redrawn for the Council, with the goal of ensuring fair and equal representation.

In the past, the process has been very much driven by the elected officials holding office, leading to gerrymandered district lines that are driven more by partisan politics and that can split communities with common interests.

The city's Districting Commission has been holding a series of public hearings and meetings since July to get as much feedback from the community as possible. The 15-member commission was created under the City Charter and consists of members appointed by the mayor, the Council's Democratic Caucus and the Council's Minority Caucus.

The commission released drafts of its maps yesterday.

People who don't have Internet access at home can go to the Districting Commission's offices at 253 Broadway, where anyone can use the software and get assistance for free.

]]> (Administrator) City Wed, 05 Sep 2012 18:18:00 +0000
Let the Battle of Maps Begin 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.

]]> (Administrator) City Fri, 31 Aug 2012 00:47:00 +0000