Some Dems as well as Republicans are uneasy with new congressional map

February 4, 2022 Jaime DeJesus
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After the New York State Legislature voted to pass new congressional district maps on Wednesday, Feb. 2, several Brooklyn elected officials, both Democrats and Republicans, gave their opinions on the decision, and many expressed reservations.

The Senate voted 43-20 on party lines to pass the congressional maps. 

Congressional District 11, which currently includes Staten Island and Southwest Brooklyn and is now represented by Republican U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, will now include Sunset Park and Park Slope, two neighborhoods that lean heavily Democrat. 

Malliotakis expressed her displeasure with the decision, as expected.

The 7th Congressional District, represented by U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez, above, will be affected by the changes. Photo courtesy of U.S. Rep. Velazquez

“In a blatant attempt to steal our seat and cancel the voices of Staten Island and Southern Brooklyn, Democrat lawmakers are redrawing the boundaries of our congressional district to tilt the scale and give their candidate an advantage in our election,” she said in an email to supporters. 

“We know that if Democrats can’t win by the rules, they’ll change the rules. They’ve tried it all year. The good news is we defeated their attempts to pack the Supreme Court, change our election laws and eliminate the Senate filibuster,” she said.

The change would help Democratic candidate Max Rose’s chances of winning back the position back from Malliotakis. He held her seat before she defeated him. He grew up in Park Slope.

Former U.S. Rep. for the 11th C.D., and current candidate, Max Rose. Photo courtesy of Max Rose

However, the New York Post reported that former Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Park Slope resident, is also considering throwing his name into the race. Rose addressed the situation in an email. 

“Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has never been my biggest fan, but now he might be my primary opponent,” Rose wrote. “I know, I laughed at first too, but the implications aren’t funny.”

Former Mayor Bill De Blasio is reportedly considering running for the 11th Congressional District. Eagle Urban Media/File photo by Jaime DeJesus

The 7th Congressional District, which has been represented by Democrat Nydia Velazquez since 1993, would change drastically. Currently, it stretches from Woodhaven, Queens, west to Williamsburg, then south to Brooklyn Heights, Red Hook and Sunset Park. Now, it would no longer include Sunset Park, and would now include additional areas in Queens.

Elected officials are concerned by the change to Velazquez’s district. Councilmember Alexa Aviles (D-Red Hook-Sunset Park) posted a petition before the vote to reconsider this change.

“The maps that are being drawn would remove the Latino and Asian portion of Sunset Park and Red Hook from Congressmember Velazquez’s district and would give a portion to Jerry Nadler and Nicole Malliotakis,” she said. 

“This would destroy the only Latino-held seat in Brooklyn, would break up our community, and would dilute our representation to two representatives without the values and track record of fight our congressmember has demonstrated time and time again,” she added.

Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes (D-Sunset Park-Red Hook-Gowanus-northern Bay Ridge) voted against passing the changes to the map.

“Today’s action from New York State’s leadership to approve the 2022 Congressional Maps to exclude Sunset Park from Congressional District 7 is not something that I can support,” she said. “It does not honor the decades of work from community activists to ensure that working-class, disenfranchised racially-marginalized and immigrant communities like ours have representation in our collective struggle.”

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