Thursday, January 26, 2012

Redistricted Bronx lines for Senate and Assembly (UPDATE)

There's a handful of days that resemble Christmas morning for diehard political fans (filing days, primary elections, general elections), and this is one of those days. The first draft of the state Senate and Assembly lines have been released by the legislative task force (LATFOR).

We'll go through each one in separate posts, which will all be linked from here (and they are all available to download at LATFOR's website).

29th Senate-Jose Serrano Jr.
32nd Senate-Rev. Ruben Diaz
33rd Senate-Gustavo Rivera
34th Senate-Jeff Klein
36th Senate-Ruth Hassell-Thompson

As for the Assembly, you can look at the individual maps here, but I'm not going to both going through each one because there are 11 of them and they don't drastically change. However, I have been able to speak with Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, who briefly talked about his district and the Bronx as a whole:
81st Assembly-Jeffrey Dinowitz

If you love or hate these lines and want to tell LATFOR about it, Tuesday will be your chance.

And here are the citywide maps of both the Senate and Assembly:
There is mostly just minor adjustments for the Bronx Assembly districts. The biggest change is Peter Rivera's district would no longer be the 76th, it would now be the 87th. The new 76th ends up on the Upper East Side somehow. Oh LATFOR, you and your crazy ways.

Here's what the Assembly looks like now:
Jump below for the Update, the Senate lines, as well as a response blasting the Senate lines.

And here is the proposed Senate districts for NYC. The biggest change is with Jeff Klein's 34th Senate District, which now covers more of the South Bronx waterway, including the Hunts Point Market, as well as all of the northwest Bronx's Riverdale, as opposed to just part of it. He's lost a significant portion of Westchester, which we knew about earlier this week. Ruth Hassel-Thompson's Bronx part of the district has been compacted looks less weird, Gustavo Rivera's district has been pushed south, Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr. lost some waterfront and Jose Serrano Jr. doesn't look too different in the Bronx (though he's gained Central Park, and his new district number is 29, not 28).
And here is what the Senate looks like now:
NYPIRG’s Bill Mahoney sent out an email to reporters blasting the lines, calling them some of the worst lines in the history of redistricting.

“While judging this set of proposed maps by this yardstick, the Senate’s maps are clearly the most gerrymandered lines in recent New York history,” Mahoney said. “The Assembly’s are slightly better than 2002’s final maps, but fall far short of providing mathematically equal representation.”

Mahoney finds that 50 of 62 Senate districts deviate 3 percent or more from the ideal population. He found that about a third of the Assembly's do as well, but that isn't a problem in the Bronx (The Assembly districts in the borough all have about -2.07 deviation. They're all within 31 people of one another.) Each Bronx Senate district deviates 3.47 percent, giving all of them 318,021 people, except for Serrano, who has two people less.

He compared this year’s typical deviation to the last three rounds of redistricting, in 2002, 1992 and 1984:

Senate: Districts 3 percent or further from ideal population:
1984: 0
1992: 0
2002: 19
2012: 50

Senate: Districts within 1 percent of ideal population (as proposed in Gov. Cuomo’s bill):
1984: 44 out of 61
1992: 47 out of 61
2002: 11 out of 62
2012: 3 out of 63

Assembly: Districts 3 percent or further from ideal population:
1984: 15
1992: 49
2002: 70
2012: 67

Assembly: Districts within 1 percent of ideal population:
1984: 92
1992: 46
2002: 18
2012: 26

A Senate Republican source called City and State's Notebook, which has Mahoney's info up already, to note that the Supreme Court’s standard for deviation between districts is actually 5 percent — two percent greater than the proposed maps. If you're reading all of this that must mean you're either as interested as we are in redistrict or being punished for a heinous crime, but assuming it's the former, definitely keep checking the Notebook for great citywide political information.

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