Who will represent Greenpoint in the state legislature next year? That question might have become more complicated, as the New York State Court of Appeals just struck down the most recent congressional and State Senate districts drawn by state lawmakers.
“In a sweeping 32-page ruling, a divided New York State Court of Appeals chided Democrats for ignoring a constitutional amendment adopted by voters in 2014 to curb political influence in the redistricting process. The amendment also created a new outside commission to guide the process,” The New York Times reports.
To accommodate for population shifts as enumerated by the 2020 census, legislative maps are redrawn every ten years. In this most recent round of redistricting, New York state Republicans claimed that the Democrats drew gerrymandered maps.
While the court’s decision likely will push back the primary elections, the news does not impact every office, meaning that it is possible to see part of the primary elections happening as scheduled this June, and other elections happening later this summer. Instead of lawmakers, a politically neutral expert will draw the new maps, though it is unclear when the maps will be completed.
As for Greenpoint, this news could complicate the issue of our political represenatation. The court’s decision does not affect State Assembly districts, and while it might change the specific parameters of our congressional district, Greenpoint will remain in the 12th district.
However, the most recent maps added two new State Senate districts to New York City, one of which included Greenpoint. If the district, consisting of western Queens and our tiny pocket of Brooklyn, is forced to change, it remains unclear where Greenpoint will go.
In response to the news, three of the four State Senate candidates made statements on Twitter. “By throwing out maps and leaving election dates in confusion, they leave New Yorkers out of the democratic process when the stakes could not be any higher,” Kristen Gonzalez expressed in a Twitter thread.
Greenpoint local Françoise Olivas seemed less perturbed by the news, expressing support for a later primary date.
Long story short, no one can really say just yet how exactly this will affect an election cycle already in full swing. The politically neutral expert in charge of the maps could uphold the new districts. But Greenpoint residents should be prepared for the possibility of a big change, and the best place to stay updated is right here at Greenpointers.