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Districting’s Final: City Council Now Agrees That We’re in Manhattan

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New York City districting’s final step is complete. Word came yesterday from Community Board 8 that the City Council approved the latest maps last week, and they will go into effect. As we reported, this caps a big win for Roosevelt Island activists who fired up a campaign blocking a Council transfer into a Queens district.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

The Members of Community Board 8 Manhattan (“CB8”) along with members of various Upper East Side block associations, the Sutton Place Park Conservancy, and residents of the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island were successful in convincing the New York City Districting Commission that Roosevelt Island and the most easterly streets of the Upper East Side and Sutton Place should remain in Manhattan’s City Council District 5 and not be moved to District 26 in Queens.

CB8 Press Release/November 3rd, 2022
Districting's final result was largely a result of vocal Roosevelt Islanders showing up for the Commission's hearing.
Joyce Short and Lynne Strong-Shinozaki rallied red-shirted supporters behind keeping Roosevelt Island within Manhattan City Council District 5. State assembly member Rebecca Seawright joined them at a Districting Commission hearing.

What is City Council Districting?

NYC Council Districting 101

Every ten years, the United States Census is conducted in order to get an accurate count of the population. This data is then used to reapportion the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives among the fifty states. The census is also used to draw district lines for state legislatures and local government bodies, like school boards and city councils.

In New York City, the process of redrawing city council district lines is conducted by a thirteen-member panel known as the Districting Commission. The Commission comprises five members appointed by the mayor, five appointed by the City Council speaker, and three non-voting members serving as staff to the Commission.


The Process of Redrawing NYC Council District Lines

Every ten years, after the U.S. Census is conducted, it’s time to redraw district lines for the NYC Council. The process begins with a public hearing, where members of the public can give testimony about what they think the new district lines should look like.

After taking into account public input, the Commission then produces a draft map of proposed district lines. This map is then displayed at locations around the city for another round of public comment. Once again taking into account public input, the Commission produces a second and final draft map, which is then submitted to the City Council for approval.

Once approved by the City Council, the new district lines are in effect for the next ten years.

Districting’s Final: Conclusion

Redistricting is an important process that happens every ten years in order to ensure that representation in government bodies accurately reflects changes in population size and composition.

In New York City, a thirteen-member panel known as the Districting Commission is responsible for redrawing city council district lines.

The process begins with a public hearing followed by two rounds of draft maps that take into account public input before finally being submitted to and approved by the City Council. After approval, these new district lines are effective for the next ten years.

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