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Sources tell The Daily that redistricting will cost us Serrano but Maloney and Seawright stay for now

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The 2020 Census demands redistricting responsive to the current population. This brings a once every decade shift in district boundaries and community representatives.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Redistricting Means Change

Working with Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, Senator José Serrano recently sponsored legislation making reforms at RIOC for the first time in over a decade.

With votes on redistricting due soon, our Albany-connected sources signal change on the way. For the most part, our assembly, senate and congressional districts will retain the same elected officials we’ve known on Roosevelt Island for years. But, newly drawn maps show the state senate territory removing our community from the area represented by Senator José Serrano.

In congress, Roosevelt Island relies on Representative Carolyn Maloney and has since the early ’90s. That won’t change, but Democrats will secure her position by removing sections of Brooklyn, where she has fared poorly, and bulking up her Manhattan home base. If the likely redistricting pattern holds, her reelection is a virtual certainty in November.

In the State Assembly, Rebecca Seawright‘s district is expected to change little. One reason is that her political investment in Roosevelt Island is firm. Seawright is regularly on the Island, but her network of local connections is, also, strong and extensive. Most recently, it lead to community-centric legislation aimed at reforming RIOC, now pending in committee and hoped for passage in this year’s legislative session.

Assembly Member Seawright – with mask in pale blue – with Representative Carolyn Maloney on Roosevelt Island Day, 2021.

But State Senate representation will change…

In the most likely redistricting map the state legislature has before it, the senate district will change in a way that shifts Roosevelt Island coverage from mainly Bronx to Astoria in Queens. This is significant, but it also means losing a seasoned political partner who spends considerable resources in time and energy on Roosevelt Island. Serrano is friendly, accessible and eager to learn.

According to the proposed redistricting, Roosevelt Island will soon migrate into the Astoria/Long Island City district of Michael Gianaris. Gianaris is an outspoken progressive who, in short, you can thank for our not being subject to Jeff Bezos’s helicopter buzzing overhead.

When Bezos was set to takeover LIC property for an Amazon HQ, Gianaris led the charge against the city-subsidized project. So, he has already helped us on Roosevelt Island.

More to come.

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