Southern Brooklyn

Brannan, again, slams city’s new redistricting plan

August 10, 2022 Jaime DeJesus
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`In Brooklyn, We Like  Our Pizza in Slices, Not Our Neighborhoods’

In the wake of a preliminary map for new City Council districts released last month, Councilmember Justin Brannan (D-43rd C.D.), who represents one of the most impacted districts included in the plan, reiterated that the change, as now proposed, would create serious damage.

According to Politico, the proposal would combine the western part of Brooklyn’s Sunset Park with nearby Bay Ridge, which is in Brannan’s current district.  The eastern part of Sunset Park and a piece of Dyker Heights would be placed into a new district running through parts of Bensonhurst.  

The plan, by the city’s Districting Commission, also detaches Red Hook from the 38th District and put it into a revamped 39th District.

As far as representation is concerned, the proposed redistricting would pit Brannan and current 38th C.D. Councilmember Alexa Aviles against each other in the next Democratic primary, next year.

“In Brooklyn, we like our pizza in slices, not our neighborhoods,” he told this paper. “The hardworking communities within Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst, and Sunset Park should not be cut up and divided. These communities have been together for decades, and that’s how we believe it should stay.”

He also stressed the importance of maintaining the cohesion of historic communities of interest.

“Preserving emerging and enduring ethnic and religious enclaves while ensuring the electoral boundaries overlap with other existing relevant city agency boundaries should be the priority,” Brannan said. “Slicing up neighborhoods that have been connected for generations only serves one purpose: to dilute political power. When we are united, our voices are heard. If we are divided, we will be ignored.”

Despite the potential of the two facing each other in the primary, Brannan and Aviles released a joint statement regarding the proposal.

“It is perplexing that the creation of an AAPI (Asian American-Pacific Islander)-majority seat in southern Brooklyn would lead to the dissolution and division of Red Hook, Sunset Park — in addition to Dyker Heights — and it is certainly not necessary,” they wrote. “There is a better way to redistrict our City Council to best reflect the diversity of southern Brooklyn, empower new communities, and respect community borders to ensure every voter has an equal and impactful say in the way our city functions.

“We look forward to seeing future proposals, because this ain’t it.”

In addition to Bay Ridge, the 43rd District currently includes Dyker Heights, Bath Beach and part of Bensonhurst. The 38th District covers Sunset Park, Red Hook and parts of Borough Park, Dyker Heights and Windsor Terrace.

The public hearings for New Yorkers to testify on the Preliminary Plan for redistricting, throughout the five boroughs, are scheduled for:

Tuesday, Aug. 16 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Museum of the Moving Image, Sumner Redstone Theater, 36-01 35 Ave., Astoria, Queens 11106

Wed., Aug. 17 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Lehman College (CUNY), Gillet Auditorium, 250 Bedford Park Blvd West, The Bronx, 10468

Thursday, Aug. 18 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Staten Island Borough Hall, 10 Richmond Terrace, Room125

Sunday, Aug 21 3:30 to 7 p.m.

Medgar Evers College (CUNY), School of Science Health & Technology, Dining Hall, 1638 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn 11225

Monday, Aug. 22 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm Blvd., Harlem, Manhattan, 10037

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