Judge issues final New York congressional map for midterm elections

by Trinity Cardinal

Savannah Hulsey Pointer, FISM News 


New York’s new congressional map was approved late Friday by a New York Supreme Court Justice, putting into motion what essentially amounts to new campaigns for some candidates running for re-election this year. 

According to The Hill, The Empire State’s new map will put the communities of Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant fully in the 8th and 9th Congressional Districts respectively, instead of having them split up, as on the previous map. Additionally, the 11th Congressional District, which includes Staten Island, is now united with the areas of Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, New Utrecht, and Bay Ridge – and in the 10th Congressional District, Sunset Park in Brooklyn and Manhattan’s Chinatown, are now grouped together, according to The New York Times

The changes in maps have caused frustration among Democrats, many of whom claim that the new district lines are minimizing the voices of black and brown voters. 

“What he did was atrocious,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) said of the new map proposed by Jonathan Cervas, the court-appointed official. “We’ll see what happens.” 

“A majority of the communities in the newly redrawn NY-12 are ones I have represented for years and to which I have deep ties,” House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), said in a statement.

“This looks like it’s been gerrymandered to make sure Black people are not represented. It is an outrage,” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand told NYMag this week. “It would make Jim Crow blush,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., told reporters Thursday according to ABC News.

The newly approved map is combining the voting force of the districts of four of the state’s seven Black House members into two districts, according to a letter to the court from the House Democrats’ campaign committee.

“Black members of New York’s congressional delegation have built diverse coalitions of support; they represent communities of Black, Brown, and White voters. The Proposed Map threatens to undo this significant progress,” they wrote.

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-NY), another Black freshman lawmaker, said “The thinly veiled racism here is profoundly disappointing: ‘A black man is ideologically ill-suited to represent a Westchester County District that he represents presently and won decisively in 2020?'”

However, two of the most frustrated lawmakers in New York are Reps. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY), two powerful Democrats whose districts have been changed dramatically.

Nadler confirmed on Twitter he would be running in the new 12th Congressional District. “This new district belongs to no individual candidate, but instead to the voters who call it home. I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue steadfastly serving the West Side and eager to introduce myself – and my record of principled leadership – more fully, to neighboring communities of the East Side,” Nadler tweeted.

However, Jones, currently in the 17th district, said he would be running in the new 10th Congressional District: “The final maps released today are the result of partisan politics–drawn by an out-of-state, Republican court appointee who has shown utter disregard for cultural, social, and economic communities of interest. It is designed to reduce the number of NY Democrats in Congress,” he tweeted.

“I have decided to run for another term in Congress in #NY10. This is the birthplace of the LGBTQ+ rights movement. Since long before the Stonewall Uprising, queer people of color have sought refuge within its borders,” he added in a follow-up tweet.

I’m excited to make my case for why I’m the right person to lead this district forward and to continue my work in Congress to save our democracy from the threats of the far right. In my first term in Congress, I have worked hard to deliver real results for New York State.