Sunday, Apr 21st

Proposed Redistricting Maps Could Pit Jamaal Bowman Against Mondaire Jones for the 16th Congressional District

New16thDistrictThe proposed map of the 16th district keeps Scarsdale in one district with other southern Westchester towns, but includes portions of the districts now represented by Jamaal Bowman and Mondaire JonesThe redistricting battle in NYS goes on. After proposed maps approved by the state legislature were declared unconstitutional, newly redrawn maps of New York’s Congressional and State Senate districts were released on Monday May 16, 2022. The maps were drawn by Jonathan Cervas, the special master appointed by the court and are subject to the approval of New York State Supreme Court Judge Patrick F. McAllister, who has set a deadline of this Friday 5/20 to approve final lines. Between now and Wednesday, members of the public can submit comments on these maps to the Court via email to bwise@nycourts.gov.

The new maps, if approved, would set the stage for Republicans to win seats in the upcoming mid-term elections at a critical time. According to Politico, “The newly redrawn New York congressional map didn’t just erase the political advantage the party hoped to gain through gerrymandering before state courts stepped in to stop them. It also set New York’s Democratic incumbents against each other in a zero-sum game of survival — which will soon see some of them brawling in primaries and left others pleading with the court-appointed map-drawer to change course.”

If approved, the new maps could pit Mondaire Jones against Jamaal Bowman for the 16th district, because Representative Sean Patrick Maloney has already announced he will run for the 17th, now held by Jones. In New York City, two longtime Congressman, Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, will run against each other in the primary for the 12th district after the new maps put them both there.

In this latest draft of the Congressional lines, Scarsdale would be entirely in District 16. The newly drawn district would contain the residences of two incumbents, Jamaal Bowman and Mondaire Jones. What this means is that they could opt to run in District 16 . Under the law congresspeople can run in any district in a state - they are not tied to run only in the district that has their residence, or alternatively they could choose to run in a different - most likely a neighboring - district.

On Tuesday May 17, Bowman vowed to continue to run for District 16 though it no longer includes much of the area of the Bronx formerly in his district, which would now be divided among three districts. He tweeted, “Now, I only have one message for NY-16: I will continue fighting for you, and I will fight to continue to represent you.JamaalBowmanJamaal Bowman now represents Scarsdale in Congress

He sent the following email to his constituents on May 17. “Yesterday a court filing unveiled the newly redrawn congressional districts in New York City. The new maps, which were drawn by court-appointed Special Master Jonathan Cervas but are not yet final, change the 16th Congressional District to remove much of the Bronx, decreasing the Black voter population by about 17%.

The whole point of redistricting is to create congressional districts that keep communities of interest together. Unfortunately, the map created by the special master splits NY-16’s historically low-income Bronx communities into three congressional districts and decreases the Black voter population by 17%. This occurred despite an outpouring of testimony urging redistricting officials to protect the Black vote by keeping the northeast Bronx with lower Westchester together. The proposal shows that Co-Op City is mapped into NY-14, Williamsbridge and Baychester into NY-15 and Edenwald kept in NY-16. The map data shows that this directly resulted in the Black voter population declining by 17%. Co-Op City, Williamsbrige, and Edenwald are strong communities of interest that must remain together as a unity and connected to lower Westchester. The Black voting power in NY-16 cannot be diluted in favor of more compact but less fair maps.”

For the State Senate lines, the draft map would place Scarsdale in Shelley Mayer's district.

The final word on the maps is due on Friday May 20, 2022.

Representative Mondaire JonesRepresentative Mondaire Jones currently represents the 17th district and lives in White Plains. Portions of his district would be moved to the 16th district in the redrawn map.

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