City Council Approves Redistricting, Splitting Greenwich Village and Locking in Place Underrepresentation for All Downtown Neighborhoods
On Thursday, the New York City Council voted to accept the NYC Redistricting Commission’s proposed new City Council lines, which will go into effect next year. Those new lines will split Greenwich Village at Sixth Avenue, with the western half remaining in District 3 (currently represented by Erik Bottcher) and the eastern half moved into District 2 (currently represented by Carlina Rivera). Village Preservation and hundreds of our members and supporters had urged the Redistricting Commission and the Council not to split Greenwich Village in this way.
Perhaps even worse, the Redistricting Commission and the Council approved a plan that packs the maximum number of legally allowable residents into the three downtown districts (1, 2, and 3), meaning residents of these districts have the least voting power and least representation in the City Council of any in the city — about 5% less than many other New Yorkers. The last decade’s redistricting, approved by the same bodies, did the same, though then the difference was the maximum legally allowable 10%. This new plan thus locks in place for another decade the underrepresentation of downtown residents, which is likely to only increase over the next 10 years as these neighborhoods are expected to have well above average population growth due to large-scale planned new development. This will likely make that gap in representation grow from 5% to double or triple that amount or more before the next redistricting.
Village Preservation and our members had called upon the Commission and the Council not to approve any plan which perpetuated unequal representation for our neighborhoods. The Commission’s original proposed July maps did not, and did not split Greenwich Village at Sixth Avenue. However, a campaign by residents of the Upper East Side and Sutton Place to change the maps to prevent the splitting of their neighborhoods led to thousands of additional residents being added to our districts, and the subsequent movement of district boundary lines. More information here.