What the Serpentine County says about NY’s New Congressional Map

New York’s congressional map, redrawn by ruling Democrats, makes the party’s candidates more visible in nearly every corner of the state and could potentially lose up to five Party seats Republic.

But when the party leaders in Albany recommend recommended lines on Sunday, many viewers quickly grasped what appeared to be a prime example of partisan excess by the cartographers: a newly drawn district now led by Representative Jerrold Nadler, a party Strong Democrat in Manhattan holds.

Indeed, with its zigzag shape, Mr. Nadler’s reimagined district – New York’s 10th district – is almost amusing and completely pro-Democrat. It stretches 15 miles through 15 different State Council counties from Mr. Nadler’s home on Manhattan’s Upper West Side to Brooklyn, hops over New York Harbor and makes three sharp turns to enter small swaths of Carroll Gardens. and Boerum Hill, before expanding to include all of Prospect Park, Borough Park and Bensonhurst.

Viewers and party followers get confused quickly call it “Jerrymander”, Mr. Nadler’s name and title has long been given to politicians drawing political lines to their party’s advantage.

Republicans, known for their own commanders in other states, have happily shared screenshots of the area to accuse Democrats of hypocrisy.

They are not alone. “This is why people don’t trust politicians,” writes Pat Kiernan, a local morning news anchor on NY1, writing, on Twitter. “And the Democrats have given up any high points they had against Republicans about gerrymandering.”

But if Mr. Nadler’s new lines help tell a story of regional redistricting in New York and across the country this year, it’s a lot more complicated than critics might think. fantasy – illustrates how state mapping legislators from Albany have attempted to balance a complex set of political goals, legal requirements to protect racial minorities, and whims of every incumbent Democrat.

Politics is clearly involved, though not exactly in the interest of Mr. Nadler, a 15-term Democrat synonymous with his pro-liberal base on the Upper West Side. Instead, some of the most obvious beneficiaries of Mr. Nadler’s unsightly county lines may be his congressional neighbors in Manhattan and Brooklyn, as well as New York’s sizable Jewish population. York.

They include Representative Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat who traditionally represents the East Side of Manhattan; and any Democrat against Representative Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican whose county includes Staten Island and a swath of South Brooklyn.

“Shape can be deceptive,” said Richard Briffault, a law professor who studies gerrymandering at Columbia University, located on Mr. Nadler’s compound. “A county may have an odd shape, but it could be a way to bring together people from similar economic backgrounds or ethnic backgrounds.”

Mr Briffault says cartographers – whether politicians, independent commissions or courts – are always trying to balance competing imperatives that go beyond geography. The districts should be as compact as possible, and they should be contiguous. But communities of common interest should be retained in their entirety to maintain their voices, especially ethnic minority groups.

In a state like New York, where politicians of a single party control the process, they will also try to seek as much partisan political gain as possible.

So it’s located in Mr. Nadler’s new district.

Its wide borders – extending from the Upper West Side to Borough Park – have stood for decades. In 2012, a special non-partisan court-appointed master stamped her approval.

While it will soon include a wide range of economic and racial groups, including the Chinese in Manhattan’s Chinatown and Brooklyn’s Sunset Park, the area has long been used by cartographers. to unite some of the city’s strongest Jewish communities rooted in the Upper West Side and Brooklyn. Borough Park neighborhood. No county in the country has more Jewish voters, and Mr. Nadler, who was educated in an election, is the last remaining Jewish House of Representatives member from New York City.

And Jewish leaders have repeatedly given public testimony over the years calling for the two regions to remain connected.

“In the city with the largest Jewish population in the world, it is important and meaningful to the Jewish community in New York nationally that it is,” said Matt Nosanchuk, president of New York Jews. having a district like this brings us together. Agenda and a former White House liaison to the American Jewish Community.

The difficulty has long been in how to connect the two regions. The congressional map since 2012 does this by bringing the borough down to the West Side of Manhattan and cutting cleanly through Bay Ridge in Brooklyn to Borough Park, a relatively simple solution.

But it turns out that path thwarts Democrats’ political ambitions to capture District 11, the only Republican-held seat in New York City and a top national goal this cycle. To do so, they propose extending seating in the center of Staten Island further north to Brooklyn via Bay Ridge, Sunset Park and Park Slope, an enclave of total freedom.

As a result, the connection between Mr. Nadler’s areas has been strongly pushed north and rerouted to meander in a much less direct way around the new 11th District, as well as the Democratic counties led by Representative Nydia Velazquez and Hakeem Jeffries hold at Red Hook, Fort Greene and Prospect Heights. (A spokeswoman for Malliotakis, who represents party 11, accused Democrats of “a blatant attempt by the Democratic leadership in Albany to steal this seat.”)

At the same time, Mr. Nadler’s district needs to grow in Brooklyn according to this cycle as he has delivered the turf he has long represented on the Upper West Side near Central Park and around Greenwich Village to help Ms. Maloney, his neighbor in District 12. .

Ms. Maloney is facing her third primary challenge from the left in three election cycles. By shifting her county further west, cartographers have eliminated portions of the progressive hotspots in Brooklyn and Queens in favor of those who challenge her, theoretically helping her Maloney was safely re-elected to the Democratic seat. Ms Maloney’s main challenger said on Monday that she was undeterred.

Maloney’s campaign manager Sophia Brown said Monday that the campaign respects the Legislature’s proposal and indicated that the county still includes smaller parts of Brooklyn and Queens.

“Rep. Maloney is proud to represent all areas of the district and looks forward to running a strong campaign focused on her progressive achievement and rooted in the communities she is proud to represent. represented,” Brown said in a statement.

The whole process of reforming the lines is made more complicated by the presence of large, well-organized groups of African-American, Latino, and Asian voters, whose interests are protected. protected by civil rights law.

Some areas bordering Mr. Nadler’s county are legally protected Negro habitats. For example, adding the Jewish community in Borough Park to a neighboring Brooklyn borough would dilute the minority percentage, a politically and legally dubious proposition.

Adding Borough Park to a Staten Island-based county might be more legally feasible, but the areas would not be united by a common religion, nor would it achieve its political goals. Democratic Party, as orthodox Jewish voters in this area have less confidence in the Democratic Party.

In his own statement, Mr. Nadler denied the allegation that gerrymandering is recycling, pointing out that his county has always consisted of “a diverse and culturally rich collection of communities of interest that spans from Upper West Side south to Brooklyn.”

“Prognostics and experts assert every cycle of redistricting that the district is the product of partisan betrayal. But no matter who has charted the course of the New York Congress over the years – be it the NY State Legislature or the federal courts – the results have always been strikingly similar for the region that I am honored to represent. ”

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/31/nyregion/gerrymander-redistrict-ny-nadler.html What the Serpentine County says about NY’s New Congressional Map

Fry Electronics Team

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