Since its birth as a new kind of community in 1968, Roosevelt Island has always been part of Manhattan. Zip Codes and telephone numbers show it. But if the first City Council redistricting map following the 2020 Census holds, the community will be flipped into Queens.
by David Stone
From Charlie Millard through Jessica Lappin, Ben Kallos and, today, Julie Menin, City Council representation pulled Roosevelt Island across the water into Manhattan. The Upper East Side, to be exact.
The pluses are considerable. Not only has the community usually had the best and brightest pitching our interests downtown, but we’ve also enjoyed unity among elected officials. With a few exceptions, our representatives at all levels covered the same ground.
Gifford Miller became Speaker, and Jessica Lappin deftly led the campaign leading to Cornell Tech landing between Loop Roads.
But soon, that may change – before election time rolls around in 2024. A first draft map pulls Roosevelt Island east, out of Manhattan District 5 and into District 26 in Astoria, Queens. It drags a little bit of mainland Manhattan along too.
This is unlikely to sit well on Main Street.
Current District 5 City Council Member Julie Menin said this:
“Today’s release of preliminary City Council District maps by the New York City Districting Commission is far from perfect and is only a first draft subject to significant changes. Many communities of interest in my current district would be split into a different district. I will be working hard in the coming days and weeks to ensure our community is able to give robust feedback to the Commission on these new lines. It is critical that during the redistricting process we prioritize maintaining communities of interest and now is the time for communities to come out and make their voices heard.”
Menin has been a friend of Roosevelt Island, even before her taking office. We’ll be watching for ways we can work with her to keep our small community in Manhattan.