Hearing will give Brooklyn chance to sound off on redistricting plan

Look for fireworks at Medgar Evers College

August 15, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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This Sunday evening, Brooklynites will have the chance to comment on the controversial new City Council redistricting plan at Medgar Evers College.

The hearing, one of five around the city, will take place between 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the college, 1638 Bedford Ave., Crown Heights. It will be the only one in the borough.

As the Brooklyn Eagle has reported, City Council districts are redrawn, by the New York City Districting Commission, every 10 years following the Census, to reflect population changes. 

In the city as a whole, the population of Asian and Latino New Yorkers increased by 7.7 percent and 6.6 percent respectively, while the African American population has decreased by about 4 percent, according to THE CITY. The white population has basically remained about the same.

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For years, leaders of Brooklyn’s Asian American communities, centered in Sunset Park and Bensonhurst, sought to have an Asian-majority City Council district. The new redistricting plan seeks to create one.

Councilmember Alexa Aviles (D-Red Hook-Sunset Park). Photo courtesy of CUNY

While few would disagree with the idea of an Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) district, many disagree with the way it’s been done.

The plan, as the Eagle has frequently reported, would combine western Sunset Park with Bay Ridge to form a new 38th Council District. The plan also detaches Red Hook from the 38th and puts it into a revamped 39th District, which would stretch down to Kensington.

The 43rd, which now includes Bay Ridge, would now include Bensonhurst and eastern Sunset Park, thus creating, in effect, the AAPI district.

The redistricting would force Councilmember Justin Brannan, who now represents Bay Ridge, and Alexa Aviles, who represents Sunset Park, to run against each other in a Democratic primary.

In an unusual show of solidarity, both councilmembers have slammed the redistricting plan. 

“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,” the two wrote in a joint statement.

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