FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2012
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STATEMENT ON FEDERAL COURT’S PROPOSED MAPS
BY THE ASIAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY COALITION ON REDISTRICTING
AND DEMOCRACY (ACCORD)
Earlier than expected, the magistrate tasked by the “Special Master” panel of federal judges to redraw Congressional lines released a proposal this morning. U.S. Congress is the highest level of government that is affected by redistricting. These lines will be adopted unless the majorities of the Senate and Assembly can come to an agreement and pass their own version of the Congressional maps that Cuomo will sign.
While there are some exceptions, for most Asian American communities of interest in New York City, the proposal is positive. In fact, there seems to be a strong acknowledgement of the Unity Map drawn by civil rights groups, including the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), and supported by ACCORD. ACCORD finds that this proposal, on the whole, is a clear improvement from the current Congressional lines – especially in Queens, where voter dilution in Northeast Queens has hampered the ability of our communities to have a voice in Congressional elections.
- The proposed lines can be seen here: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/06/judge-issues-congressional-redistricting-proposal
- The current lines can be seen here (click on “View Map links): http://www.govtrack.us/congress/findyourreps.xpd?state=NY
ACCORD has the following specific comments on significant areas for the Asian American community:
· The proposed Congressional District (CD) 6, if adopted, would be a Congressional district with the highest concentration of Asian Americans ever created. At nearly 40% of the district (37.9%), the Asian American community of Northeast Queens would have major influence in a Congressional seat.
· This district is nearly identical to District 5 recommended in the Unity Map, drafted by AALDEF and endorsed by ACCORD (see http://aaldef.org/unity-map.html)
· The significant voter dilution of Asian American voters in Northeast Queens between the current CD 5 and CD 9 (Flushing, Bayside, Auburndale, Queensboro Hills, Fresh Meadows and Oakland Gardens) is corrected by this proposal.
· This proposed district also keeps together the neighborhoods of Woodside and Jackson Heights in CD 14.
· This proposal could be improved if Bellerose could be connected with Queens.
MANHATTAN AND BROOKLYN (including Manhattan’s Chinatown and Sunset Park):
· ACCORD is pleased that CD 7 recognizes (as does the current CD 12) there is a community of common interest between Sunset Park and Manhattan’s Chinatown, and keeps these together in one district.
· This district is very similar to the proposed District 12 in the Unity Map.
The Asian American Community Coalition On Redistricting and Democracy (ACCORD) is a non-partisan coalition of organizations and individuals committed to advancing the opportunities of Asian Pacific American and minority communities to meaningfully participate in the political process. ACCORD recognizes that redistricting plays a pivotal and fundamental role in these opportunities, and supports redistricting plans that keep together communities of interest that exist in and around ethnic neighborhoods across New York.