The Upper East Side is, once again, facing problematic change with the proposed new draft of New York's Assembly District maps.
The original district maps, drafted and approved in January 2022, following the release of census data, were invalidated by state judges and have been hotly contested since. The task of redistricting fell to the Independent Redistricting Commission who have been given until April 2023 to submit a revision acceptable to both Democratic and Republican parties. A proposal, released last month, shows that while 105 districts retain existing boundaries, 45 are suggested for alteration.
For the Upper East Side this means seeing Roosevelt Island and circa 60 blocks, from East 42nd and 61st Streets, shift to the jurisdiction of the Queens-based 36th Assembly District. The draft proposal clearly violates several New York State Constitutional districting requirements. Practically speaking, the various communities of interest on both sides of the East River face different issues regarding housing, tax policy, transportation, open space and other matters. This draft proposal would create practical difficulties in the provision of important governmental services. Its impact mirrors that of The City Council's 2022 redistribution plan which was successfully fought off by the community last October, it is disappointing to be facing a similar battle so soon.
The Independent Redistricting Commission is holding a series of public hearings to receive public testimony across the state — with an NYC hearing at 4pm on Feb. 7 at Kaye Playhouse, Hunter College.
We urge you to submit testimony opposing this proposal. You can testify (in person or virtually) at the February 7th hearing, registration details can be found here. You can also use the form below or contact the IRC directly by commenting on their website.