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New York Assembly Districting Now Sucks Roosevelt Island Into Queens

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Just when you thought you were safely set in Manhattan, New York State Assembly Districting chucks Roosevelt Island into Queens once more. We survived City Council and State Senate battles, but here we go again.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

When Roosevelt Islanders fought to keep Roosevelt Island from sliding east into Queens in City Council districting, Rebecca Seawright joined forces. She sat with a sign in her lap in the sea of red shirts rallied together by Joyce Short.

But now, it’s her 76th Assembly District being challenged. The same algorithm-driven map that bungled council districts now threatens Assembly districting with loopy borders. And like before, the map brings both Roosevelt Island and Sutton Place into a Queens district with which neither has any existing relationship.

Redistricting among all political fields is driven by the results of the 2020 Census. But so far, it hasn’t been seasoned with a lot of common sense.

Why the New Assembly Districting Map Makes No Sense

The absence of any existing community connection is one thing, but the more immediate issue is what breaks.

Roosevelt Island as well as Sutton Place has never been identified with any borough other than Manhattan. Political relationships run all the way from Community Board 8 committees to the state assembly and senate.

In the shorter term, both communities have been gifted with a brilliant and respected assembly member. Rebecca Seawright has been a strong advocate with a consistent record of achievement.

Seawright listens, but she also acts on what she learns. Her constituent services help guide us through the thickets of bureaucracy. We lose her in the latest assembly districting maps. In her place, we get Zohran K. Mamdani with whom we share no relationships and whose main focus, appropriately, is on the wrong side of the East River.

What Comes Next

“So sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings, especially as we approach the holidays, (don’t shoot the messenger,) but here we are……. again,” Short said in an email blast.

Short is a founder and unquestioned leader of the newly formed Main Street Democrats. She’s gearing up for the next fight.

“Hearings on the issues will run from January 9th to March 4th,” she says. “We’ll need to organize our efforts and speak with a clear voice based on reasonable concerns. I’ll be putting something together shortly so folks can pick and choose what they’d like to focus on.”

It’s a fight worth engaging in general and, specifically, in keeping our power with Rebecca Seawright.

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