NEW YORK (PIX11) — Draft redistricting maps released Monday would be a big blow to Democrats politically, with some in the party suggesting the lines are racist.
“The draft redistricting map viciously targets historic Black representation in NY, and places 4 Black members of Congress into the same district.” Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D) Brooklyn tweeted. “This tactic would make Jim Crow blush.”
Special Master Jonathan Cervas released the draft maps, which after a comment period will be finalized Friday. He was assigned to make the maps by Steuben County Supreme Court Judge Patrick McAllister. Cervas is redrawing bother New York’s Congressional and State Senate maps after courts ruled NY Democrats had created an unconstitutional gerrymander.
Politically, the maps are devastating to Democrats nationally. The local party was under pressure to balance out Republican efforts in other states by trying to draw friendly maps, giving them 20-23 of New York’s 26 congressional districts.
Under the Cerves maps, Democrats will get 15 seats that lean heavily in their direction. Republicans will get four safer seats. The map includes seven toss up districts, mainly on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley. Staten Island and South Brooklyn’s NY-11 District will remain competitive as well.
Quick analysis of political leanings of NY’s preliminary redistricting map drawn by the special master.— Henry Rosoff (@HenryRosoff) May 16, 2022
Long story short, brutal for Democrats, great for GOP.
7 true swing districts:
NY-2 D +0.1
NY-3 D +0.6
NY-11 R +2.6
NY-17 D +3.1
NY-18 D +0.6
NY-19 R +0.6
NY-22 D +0.9
On the issue of Representatives being drawn together, big changes to existing Democratic stronghold districts in NYC is causing the greatest angst for Democrats. Jeffries has been drawn into the same district as Congresswoman Yvette Clarke. It also appears freshman congressmen Mondaire Jones and Jamaal Bowman have been drawn into the same district.
The new maps would significantly redraw the Manhattan districts currently held by incumbents Democratic Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, who have each served in the House for nearly three decades and chair influential committees.
Maloney, who currently represents the 12th District, said she would run again under the 12th’s new boundaries. But Nadler, who represents the 10th, said he too would run in the 12th if the draft becomes permanent. Nadler said he believes the draft lines unconstitutionally break up existing districts and communities.
Jeffries excoriated the proposed maps, saying they ignored the testimony of Brooklyn residents and dilute Black voters in two districts there and viciously target Black representation in the House by drawing the districts of four members into one, “a tactic that would make Jim Crow blush.”
“Apparently, Republican operatives and conservative activists have found a sympathetic audience as a result of the broken process set forth by the New York Court of Appeals,” he said.
Former Republican Congressman John Faso, an advisor to the petitioners who brought the lawsuit, said in a statement that the draft plan is better than the Democrat-drawn maps, but his team will ask the court to make revisions “which better reflect long-standing communities of interest around the state.”
A New York court will take comment on the maps for two days before a final version is approved by a judge on May 20, with primary elections for congressional races and the state Senate now being held Aug. 23.
Adding to the redistricting tangle, the state’s Assembly and gubernatorial primaries are still scheduled for June 28.