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Morning Spew

It’s Monday and You’re in a Constant State of Redistricting

2020’s dud of a census continues to yield great pleasures.

5:37 AM EDT on September 26, 2022

A new CitiBike eBike gets into the cargo bike game. (Hell Gate)

Did you know that very soon we will have to vote again for our 51 city councilmembers? What? Why?! Because our quadrennial elections didn’t fall far enough away from the 2020 census to factor in the new population results, the city is now undergoing the process of redistricting to determine how to properly allot the city’s growing population into council districts. 

So we’re all set to vote again, most likely in June 2023. 

And how’s that going? Not very well!

On Thursday, a committee made up of mayoral and city council appointees voted 8-7 against proposed districts—over the objections of the head of the person Mayor Eric Adams chose to lead the commission, former Bloomberg administration schools chancellor and Queens Library CEO Dennis Walcott.

The proposed districts they voted down were revised from an earlier set of draft maps, and were meant to answer criticisms that the initial proposal broke up historically Black council districts while creating the city’s first predominantly Asian district, a proposal that in of itself was controversial. On top of that, the maps diluted some of the power of Staten Island Republicans, by moving some of Brooklyn into their districts. 

During the entire redistricting process, which included a record-breaking 9,500 written and verbal comments and a series of public hearings, there had been fear among watchdog groups, like Citizens Union, that not all was as it seemed, and they feared an alliance had been hashed out on the committee that would toss out many of the changes, and was instead about settling personal scores of Mayor Adams. 

On Friday, Politico confirmed those fears—Mayor Adams had been working in concert with Republican appointees on the commission to make a map much more favorable to Republicans, and to ensure that all three seats based on Staten Island stay Republican. City Hall requested their own appointees vote down the map, even as their own chosen chairman voted for them. Now, everyone’s pissed off. 

A Democrat working with Republicans to make an overwhelmingly Democratic city less democratic? This just keeps happening!

Here are some links to bring you up to speed on what’s up this beautiful fall Monday morning:

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